Cell phones are playing a role in how some college students learn and in the future they may impact how we all learn. Starting back in November of 2007, Japan’s Cyber University has experimented successfully with on-line cell phone content. The university offered the classes for free as long as students signed up for the Smart Bank 3G phones, which delivered the electronic course material. Ball State University in the U.S. has worked with 800 undergraduate and graduate students with cell-enabled texts. Students purchase the text for $250 and then receive downloads for study outside of class, as well as some projects in class.
Many students in foreign countries—both developing and developed– are learning through cell phones as well. In some poorer countries where students lack access to brick and mortar buildings, they can take on-line classes and get their material downloaded through their phones. This concept may have great traction in countries like India and China where the number of students may outpace the physical locations available and the costs which are required from traditional universities.
To what extent will publishers need to partner with the makers of cell phones which have web-enabled capabilities?
How can content—especially out-of-class-material—in little bites help students to study and learn?
What other creative ways can students capture and interact with information in the areas where they are—on the phone, on FaceBook, on Twitter?
How will teachers and professors adapt to these new opportunities for learning and teaching?
Dennis Carter, Assistant Editor
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says schools and colleges should deliver course content to the cell phones that students use to talk and text every day. Some campus officials are listening, and classes via web-enabled cell phones could be mobile learning’s next evolution.
“Kids are on their cell phones the 14 hours a day they are not in school,” Duncan said in a recent interview with eCampus News at Education Department (ED) headquarters in Washington, D.C. With teenagers and young adults using cell phones constantly, Duncan said, technology officials should find ways to send homework, video lectures, and other classroom material so students can study wherever they are.
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