Mobile devices like smart-phones and tablets are becoming very popular among the students thus setting it as an innovative method to be used in learning. The portable mobile devices offer various new ways of learning. However, it is very essential to understand the students’ perspective about the use of mobile in educational purpose. Use of mobile technology is pervasive in the lives of people especially students. Report says that about 83 percent of adults between the age group 18 to 29 own a smart phone. Huge developments in the field of information and communication technologies have provided huge opportunities in education and learning. Thus, the usage and application of computers in the modern education system becomes a necessity. Mobile devices can be used as a new progression in the field of teaching and learning using mobile devices with the help of wireless communication. Mobile learning is the process of including mobile devices in delivery of educational and learning contents with the help of emerging technologies. Mobile devices that can be used in educational purpose include smart-phones, E-book readers, for example kindle, tablets, net-books and portable technologies that are used in laboratories. The use of these technologies helps in improving the efficiency and accessibility of a good quality education and services. Moreover, the use of technology learning or M learning process presents the learning materials in text, graphics, audio and video medium, which makes the learning procedure more interesting and entertaining for students (Glackin, Rodenhiser & Herzog, 2014). Cornucopia University wants to incorporate e learning procedure in the institution. The definition of mobile devices, their use in higher education, the process of incorporation of mobile devices in the learning procedure and security issues regarding this up gradation are discussed in the following paragraphs.
Mobile devices and their use in higher education
Mobile devices may be defined as a device for computing and is portable and therefore, can be used anywhere and can be accessed anytime from any place. Mobile devices are compact and lightweight, thus, can be easily accessed or carried. They are also known as handheld computers or personal digital assistants. With the advancement of technology, mobile devices are emerging to be use as a replacement of personal computers.
Use of Mobile devices in higher education
Mobile devices are nowadays widely used in educational purpose and gradually becoming the main technology for education. Use of mobile devices enables the student to remain connected with the teacher 24/7 through study materials and online guides. Majority of the students have an access to mobile devices and are quite smitten by the device. The educational institute can make a constructive use of this device to make the learning procedure interesting for the students (Page, 2014). The e books costs comparatively lower than the cost of textbooks. Since e-book, publishing is cheaper for both publisher and the readers. Circulating study materials through mobile devices is therefore, beneficial for both students and the institution. Moreover, e books can be carried or transferred more easily.
Mobile devices used in education
Smartphone can be defined as a mobile phone that is capable of performing all the functions of a computer. Smartphone generally has a touch screen interface and operating system. It also has a capability to connect to the internet and thus work as a computer.
Smartphone with an access to internet and WIFI are capable of downloading the study materials from the college website. It can also be used for recording the lectures, which would be of a great help to the students during the examination time. They can play and listen to the recordings whenever they want.
Social media can also be used in making the learning procedure more interesting. A dedicated twitter feed can be set up where the teacher can post assignments and study materials. The students can easily access this by searching a specific hash tag (Gikas & Grant, 2013).
The study materials can be presented in an interesting way by incorporating colorful and useful graphics and illustrative videos into the study materials.
Tablet PC performs all the works of a PC and are widely used for its versatility and portability. Thus, it is an ideal solution for the students to be used in educational purpose. Pc tablet generally uses an advanced operating system thus, providing ample of options for students and teachers in transferring the study materials and assignments.
Tablet pc can be used and access from anywhere because of its portability and taking the notes become easier through audio or even typing. The notes taken can be easily managed and can be searched within seconds. Tablets are capable of taking voice command thus the learning procedure becomes easy and entertaining (Gikas & Grant, 2013).
Net books are compact and inexpensive laptops. It is lightweight and hence can be easily carried to the classrooms and can be accessed from there. Net books are specially designed for performing light tasks unlike laptops that can be used for media and gaming purposes as well. It also provides a good battery backup and thus can be used uninterrupted throughout the classroom session.
Net books make the process of digital notes taking easier. Moreover, it is very inexpensive and is very durable. Thus, it can be used as a medium of educational communication in the classroom and beyond.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using mobile devices in higher education
The use of the above-mentioned devices helps to access the study materials instantly. The students who feel uncomfortable in asking any questions in the class would be benefited by the implementation of mobile devices in learning procedures (Mehdipour, Zerehkafi, 2013).
The flow of information from teachers to students will become easier with the implementation of e learning procedure.
The students would have access to the study materials 24/7, and can get online help for the studies and the lectures.
Taking the notes of the lectures becomes easier through mobile devices. Moreover, imposing any request or query to the lecturer becomes as easy as a mouse click.
The study procedures can be made more interesting with the help of practical demonstration using audio video and graphics.
Social learning is widely accepted by the students as it makes the learning procedure more interesting. It is a great medium for students and teachers to exchange their thoughts and ideas regarding a particular subject (Cheon et al., 2012).
The major disadvantage of enabling mobile devices in higher education is that, mobile devices can act as a source of distraction for the students. Students may access their personal emails and chats sitting in the classroom without paying attention to the lecturers or the course (Shrivastava & Shrivastava, 2014).
Students become increasingly dependent on the mobile devices, which hampers their thinking ability. This could pose as huge problem in practical classes.
Carrying out personal tasks like texting and checking mails or attending calls quite often may hamper the concentration power of the students and thus can have a negative impact on the studies (Tindell & Bohlander, 2012).
Moreover, many students may not accept the Smartphone as a learning device. Operating and formatting a mobile device according to the educational requirements would be difficult for students who lack necessary skills to perform the required functionalities in formatting and using the device in a correct way.
Accepting a completely new way of teaching would be challenging and problematic for the teachers to adopt. The lectures who have been teaching in traditional way all throughout their carrier would find a new method of teaching illogical and challenging.
Incorporating Mobile Devices in Cornucopia University
Upgrading the whole education system in order to incorporate mobile devices, as a medium of education would be challenging for the authorities, as it would require a complete makeover from the existing traditional way of teaching.
Mobile devices can replace the traditional learning procedures and can be used to transform the whole procedure of teaching. It not only helps both the students and the lecturers in their work but also reduces the workload of the lectures (Hockly, 2012). A customized roll-checking app can automatically calculate and mark the number of students present in the classroom by tracking the Bluetooth of the devices. Class notes can be posted by the lecturer in a social site group and thus can be downloaded by every student.
The classrooms should have an easy access over internet preferably WIFI. Thus, the Cornucopia University needs to set up more modem for providing an uninterrupted internet services to all the devices to be used and classrooms. Moreover, a pre- training program has to be organized by the university to train the professor the new ways of delivering lectures and adopting the new way of teaching. The classrooms should be updated with the required devices to facilitate the use of mobile devices in the classrooms.
Mobile devices in enhancing the role of lecturer and students in learning
Setting up a training program for lecturers on using mobile devices as a medium in higher education would help them to be acquainted with the new ways of teaching. It would not only be beneficial for the lecturer to understand an altogether new way of teaching but also would help them offering a well structured lecture. This would in turn benefit the student and would help them in understanding and adapting the new process of learning. The teacher can reach every student and answer his or her queries. He or she will be able to transfer study materials to every student quite easily with the help of the technology. This would reduce the workload of the lecturer considerably (Berge & Muilenburg, 2013).
Every student can have a quick access to the study materials that are provided by the lecturer with the help of the mobile devices. Students would be able to post their queries and doubts regarding any chapters to the lecturers anytime and anywhere. Moreover, the lectures would be securely stored in a single place and there is no tension of losing the class notes. Student can access the data anywhere anytime. Moreover, this up gradation procedure in Cornucopia University would make the learning procedure very interesting for the students. The class notes can be incorporated with audio, video and graphics to make the learning procedure entertaining for the students (Gikas & Grant, 2013). Students would not feel the lectures to be boring and would actively take part in the learning process and never bunk any class.
Well-trained lecturers would make the learning process more interesting and effective for the students.
Changes in Infrastructure
- The classrooms should be remodeled to allow specific charging points and speakers.
- Enabling a good and hi-speed internet network preferably WIFI
- Designing customized applications for Smartphone and tablets that will be accessed by every faculty and students of the university.
- An authentication system for managing the learning procedure
- Content management functions to be enabled
The major security issue for using mobile devices in higher education is theft of personal mobile devices or even data theft.
Use of an un-secured internet network in mobile devices may increase the risk of welcoming vulnerability in mobile devices. Vulnerability may be in form of virus or malware attack that may result in the loss of important and sensitive data (La Polla, Martinelli, & Sgandurra, 2013).
All the mobile devices should have proper antivirus installed to eliminate the security risk. The WIFI network should be secure enough to be used by all the students and the faculty.
Students may make use of the Universities’ website for carrying out their personal work like browsing social media websites, sending messages. This may lead to loss of time and money. University however, can block few websites that are not to be used in the learning procedures to eliminate this risk.
The ethical consideration that Cornucopia University should consider are elaborated in the following table (Pardo & Siemens, 2014)-
The privacy of the students and the lecturers should be maintained. The login information and the personal information that are provided by the students and the lecturers, to access the m- learning portal of the university, should be kept private.
The study materials and the information that are provided by the lecturer through m- learning portal should be accurate and integral.
Cornucopia University should make sure that the materials a student and a lecturer can access. The confidentiality should be maintained so that the data is not accessible to an unauthorized person.
A research has to be carried out on students and lectures to know their views on mobile technology as a medium of education before up grading their system of education. The university should make sure that this up gradation would be beneficial for students and the lecturers. Knowledge about the perception of the learners becomes very important in the adoption of mobile devices in the higher education.
Legal consideration that Cornucopia University should keep in mind is that they have to launch a registered m-learning website and portals. Portals should be properly registered and affiliated to the university.
Potential solution to overcome Ethical, Social and Legal consideration
Data privacy and confidentially should be maintained and the accuracy of the information should be checked before passing it to the students (Slade & Prinsloo, 2013).
Student and lecturer’s viewpoint regarding the use of mobile devices in Cornucopia University should be collected anonymously and then the up gradation method is to be planned.
Before upgrading the whole system of education, proper legal permission is to be taken to carry out the up gradation procedure smoothly.
Therefore, from the above discussion, it can be concluded that the idea of using mobile devices as a medium of learning in higher education can be implemented by the Cornucopia University in order to make the learning procedure more interesting for the students as well as the lecturers. Mobile devices are widely used by the students now a day, and using this as a medium of educational would inevitably make the learning procedure interesting. In Cornucopia University, three mobile devices that can be used in learning process are Smartphone, tablets and net books. However, there are certain disadvantages of using mobile devices in education as it might distract the students and divert their concentration power from studies. University should therefore, block certain unnecessary websites that can be accessed through the university network. Therefore, it is the duty of the university to undergo a thorough research before up gradation of the system of education. Cornucopia University should have a clear knowledge about its student and their mobile use habits. Various researches indicate that the ownership of mobile is very high among the students and would increase more in future. Therefore, it would not be very difficult to implement mobile devices as a medium of learning. However, both students and lecturers need proper technical guidance for integrating and using mobile devices and certain apps for learning and education. Proper designer and developer should be employed in order to successfully implement the project. The infrastructural changes are must need and should be carried out in a proper manner to get a positive outcome.
- It is recommended that the authorities of Cornucopia University undertake an extensive research about the use of mobile devices in higher education before implementing the change in up gradation process.
- The entire system of up-gradation should be properly planned before implementation.
- Training the lecturers about the new system is necessary and should definitely be carried out by Cornucopia University to guide them in the new process of delivering the lectures.
- Regular feedback program is to be organized to measure the impact of using mobile devices in higher education.
- The whole system should be thoroughly tested before use so that students or lecturers do not face any problem in implementing the same.
- The technology to be used in designing and developing the portals should be advanced. The University can also think of including open online course as an add-on in introducing mobile devices for higher education. This would benefit a larger group of students in performing distant education.
- Scholarly research is recommended to conduct in order to gather a clear idea about the pros and cons of including mobile devices in higher studies. This would also help to know the students’ perception and their views regarding mobile devices as a tool of learning.
- Certain institutional changes are also recommended in order to integrate the process of mobile learning in education.
- Encouraging the students to accept this new process of learning would be requires for successful implementation of mobile devices in higher education.
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