Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mobile Apps Find increasing Popularity on College Campuses

Public Universities are increasingly embracing or are expected to embrace the use of mobile apps by 2012. According to Kenneth C. Green, founding director of the Campus Computing Project, “ 55.3 percent of public universities have already activated mobile apps or will do so in the coming academic year, compared to 32.5 percent in fall 2010 (Raths, 2011).”

Among the most popular mobile apps are those offered through Blackboard, which now account for almost 3 million downloads.

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Pursuing innovation and comprehensive innovation of mobile apps for learning and social media, schools like Cuyahoga Community College are customizing Blackboard Mobile applications to provide “student life-related modules” in addition to traditional learning options. Christina Royal, associate vice president for eLearning and innovation at Cuyahoga Community College emphasizes that she wants to ensure that everything that learners at her school need to be successful are essentially at their fingertips. Providing information in “..one, easy to access place [may hopefully lead to] an increase in student interaction, engagement [and] achievement (United Business Wire, 2011).”

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Here at UDC the Center for Academic Technology (CAT) maintains mobile learning and related applications to facilitate teaching, research and learning. For example, faculty may search library resources using the WRLC Catalog (Aladin), search other member libraries, access basic info about each member library including phone number(s), map, library hours, and website, check the status of their books, renew books or items checked out, access their Blackboard courses via the Blackboard Mobile App or borrow mobile computing devices such as ipads, iPods, Flip Cameras, Android Tablets or Laptops. Using the Blackboard App, faculty can post class announcements, manage course related tasks, create discussion threads, respond to student discussion posts and more. Students can view announcements, participate in online class discussions, view their grades, manage school related tasks, organize study groups, access course loaded music, videos and images and more. Many of the features of Blackboard Mobile can be accessed through the tablet devices mentioned above as well as iPhones, iPods, and Blackberrys. To learn more about using the LRD/CAT Mobile App and to download, go to: http://m.wrlc.org.

Sources

Raths, D. (2011). Campus Computing Survey: Mobile Apps Grow, Cloud Adoption Slow. Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/articles/2011/10/20/campus-computing-survey-mobile-apps-grow-cloud-adoption-slow.aspx.

United Business Media (2011). Blackboard Mobile Apps Reach Nearly Three Million Downloads. Retrieved from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/blackboard-mobile-apps-reach-nearly-three-million-downloads-2011-10-18.

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