Current stats, advice from experts give colleges and universities a grasp of higher-ed’s mobile influence

mobile-technology-educationAccording to numerous industry reports, as well as simple observation, mobile technology is booming in higher education. But do students still prefer laptops to tablets? What affect do tablets have on campus websites? How can universities create a killer app? Thanks to recent statistics, higher education can get a better handle on the influence of mobile technology.

In this infographic, you’ll find the most up-to-date information on the prevalence of mobile devices on campus, and how everything from the IT issues surrounding mobile devices to how faculty respond to the inclusion of mobile devices can affect implementation.

For example, did you know that even though use of tablets and smartphones is increasing, students still rate laptops as the most useful device? However, though laptops are currently students go-to device, tablets drive more traffic to campus websites than smartphones, accounting for 70 percent more page visits over smartphones.

“That’s an impressive number and a strong indicator that colleges should be preparing tablet-friendly experiences for their websites and course materials,” wrote Jimmy Daily, online content manager for EdTech Magazine. “Tablets handle desktop websites better than smartphones and don’t always require apps to offer students and faculty advanced functionality. Responsive HTML5 websites will go a long way toward satisfying tablet users on campus.”

What other ways can these statistics influence higher education decisions? What kinds of platforms should campuses support considering the variation of mobile devices? Because video is the main medium accessed by mobile devices, should instructors put a greater value on blended learning and MOOCs?

“One major challenge for mobile research is capturing data on user demographics and usage of specific mobile devices,” noted Baiyun Chen and Aimee deNoyelles, instructional designers at the University of Central Florida. “Moreover, previous studies focused mainly on investigating student motivations, perceptions, and attitudes toward mobile learning, but few focused on mobile learning practices and strategies. Although mobile learning support is rare in classroom settings, research on faculty support regarding how mobile technologies can be used for teaching is even scarcer. Therefore, more research is needed for mobile teaching and learning strategies and how these strategies are implemented to engage learning.”

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