Friday, 6 January 2012

mLearning -Students push Admin to do more with mobile

I never understood all the excitement regarding end of year Boxing blow out sales. How do those darn advertisers create so much pent up demand having us wait all season to spend – spend – SPEND? Do people actually stand in line overnight to secure the best possible deal? Is this kinda like the 80’s when you set up camp outside of your local Ticketron (now Ticketmaster) outlet hoping to secure front row tickets to your favourite band? 
I’m still bitter …..for me, it was John Cougar Mellencamp -The Scarecrow Tour 1986. I waited in line for 22hrs for great seats – the outcome, last row nosebleeds @ the Gardens. Now with technology – I can beat the box office – there is a mobile app and connection for that! (U2360 Front Row – best live show ever)

I’ve embraced an outsourcing model. It’s a hybrid approach of encouraging my better half to shop at the mall and leave the driving to my mouse, online. Amazon makes this simple and easy with one click purchasing. Choose the eReader option and presto you’ve saved a few bucks that be spent on the app store. No small potatoes here according to Flurry as ~ 1.2 Billion mobile apps were downloaded over the Christmas holidays. Over half of the apps were from the US and here in North Country (Canada)  accounted for 105% of our total population. (44,000,000 apps)

In our December post, we discussed that the mLearning (mobile learning) industry is expected to grow to 9.1 Billion in potential revenue. That is a boat load of individual mobile applications that faculty, students and administration will need to deploy, manage, update and optimally purchase. In the case of SAINT JOHN - UNBSJ's services, they have launched a mobile application platform (powered by Desire2learn’s Campus Life ) for students to access resources on their smartphones such as:

Access exam schedules, class cancellations, transit and 911 /emergency resources
Provide a common platform that is easy to administer and update (automate development)
Provide cross platform support for Android, iOs and Blackberry
Accommodate input from the student community to enhance functionality and customization
Anticipate challenges and potential gaps early in the project as an opportunity to address campus wide adoption
Create a self service model where admin can make adjustments on the fly
Make it easy

Food for thought:

Mobile adoption will continue to accelerate and be driven by Student demand – how will you incorporate feedback early in the process while addressing change and flexibility in your mobile roadmap?

Devices will continue to replace the desktop at an alarming rate - do you have the infrastructure in place to support end users / provisioning for self –service / automate sign on / bring your own device

Device selection will remain diverse  do you understand the capabilities and practical use of tablet and smartphone devices?

Data explosion will continue to grow exponentially - given the latest fingers from CNET- the number of mobile phone subscriptions has reached 5.9 billion, an impressive figure in a world of 7 billion people – how do you plan to support growth, scale and core functionality?

Students will find a way to gather information – with or without you (pun intended) what are we doing to untether the bookstore to create a true mobile experience?

What else should we be thinking about when considering mobile applications for students, faculty and administration?


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