Colleges embrace MP4 technology for delivering instruction

The Droid phone is one mobile device enabling students to study anywhere.
The Droid phone is one mobile device enabling students to study anywhere.

Four universities are giving students the chance to complete certificate and degree programs by downloading class material to mobile devices like iPhones and iPods in a distance-learning initiative that one day could be commonplace in higher education.

The University Alliance, one of the country’s largest online education facilitators, announced earlier this month that students enrolled in web-based courses at Villanova University, the University of San Francisco, Tulane University, and the University of Notre Dame will be able to watch course lectures in MP4 video format on their mobile devices.

Besides the popular Apple devices, students also can download streaming lectures to their Droid phones and BlackBerries, among other devices.…Read More

Educators intrigued by Apple’s iPad

The Apple iPad will start at $499.
The web-enabled Apple iPad starts at $499.

Apple’s new tablet computer, the iPad, could push other companies to bring more color-capable eReaders to the market in a move that could make digital books more commonplace on school campuses, educators said after the long-awaited release of the technology giant’s latest product.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad Jan. 27, calling it a new third category of mobile device that is neither smart phone nor laptop, but something in between.

The iPad, which is Wi-Fi enabled, has 10 hours of battery life, features a 9.7-inch screen, weighs 1.5 lbs, and will use the iPhone operating system, meaning education companies that have made iPhone apps can make their technology available for iPad users.…Read More

Report details coming trends in campus technology

Typing on a laptop could be outdated in four or five years, according to ed-tech projections.
Typing on a laptop could be outdated in four or five years, according to ed-tech projections.

Open scholarly content will become more commonplace in higher education in the next year as online universities and textbook companies organize and harness the internet’s mass of educational material, according to a report that predicts campus technology advances within the next five years.

The 2010 Horizon Report, released this week by education technology advocacy group EDUCAUSE and the New Media Consortium, describes technological changes that will have the greatest impact on college students and faculty.

The seventh annual report’s short-term prediction focuses on open content—a trend buoyed by MIT’s Open Courseware Initiative and the Open Knowledge Foundation, among others.…Read More