Archive for May 9, 2011

Struggling to Create the Mobile Campus

An interesting article in The Chronicle of Higher Education on how well Universities are using mobile technologies.  I read the article as highlighting two particular problems of using the mobile technologies on-campus:

  • First, getting enough wireless to all the students for all the gadgets.  One example they cite: Duke scaled back their mobile technologies program, and has instead focused over the last 3 years in just getting wireless coverage over at least 95% of campus.  The quote below highlights how students love their phones (presumably with 3G access), but the iPad hasn’t taken off because Stanford can’t keep up with the WiFi demands of all those iPads.
  • Second, we’re still trying to figure out how best to use these technologies and how to sustain them.  An interesting story in the article: Stanford built a cool 3-D, interactive map of the brain for the iPad, but then the prof who wanted it stopped teaching that course, and nobody else wants to use the iPad, so nobody is using the cool gadget now.

Stanford University, birthplace of Google, Yahoo, and Cisco, is surely one of the most tech-savvy campuses in the world. A survey last year of 200 iPhone-owning Stanford students portrayed them as digitally obsessed, even addicted. Most slept next to their phones. A quarter said their phones were “dangerously alluring.”

But when Stanford’s School of Medicine lent iPads to all new students last August, a curious thing happened: Many didn’t like using them in class. Officials had hoped to stop printing an annual average of 3,700 pages of course materials per medical student, encouraging them to use digital materials instead. Some students rebelled, and Stanford was forced to resume offering printed notes to those who wanted them. In most classes, half the students had stopped using their iPads only a few weeks into the term.

via The Slow-Motion Mobile Campus – The Digital Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

May 9, 2011 at 10:59 am 3 comments


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