Mobility in Education

March 21, 2014

Technology changes sweeping across the various fields is impacting education also. Technology tools like presentations , video-conferencing have already become better alternatives to the traditional classroom based approaches. Portable mobile devices, increased data transfer rates are ushering in a new era of technology in education.

Mobile devices provide instant access to study information (like tutorials, journals) from anywhere. They can store intangible study materials (like eBooks, presentations).This can help  students to minimize the latency to obtain information (as an alternative to tedious library search) and facilitates faster learning. Students can easily communicate with their tutor, submit assignments and take up online assessments(using custom- applications) from anywhere. In case of tutors/professors, mobility can reduce their effort on facilitation and evaluation. In short, allowing mobility in schools can eliminate the paper-work and reduce manual efforts that were part of the traditional classroom education.

Allowing students to bring their own mobile devices to schools has its own set of challenges. Loss/theft of mobile devices (of both students/faculty) opens the risk of hacking by external entities. Managing the multiplicity of devices/platforms, security threats due to third-party applications, network overloading also gets added to the list of challenges.

Like other organizations, educational institutions that allow mobile devices  must have a clear mobility strategy. Though the education industry do not have clearly defined mobility standards on their own they can utilize the standards/frameworks of other industries. A mobility strategy that defines aspects such as data handling (like encrypted storage and transfer), network attributes (like bandwidth) and application management.(like MAM) will enable mobility to be a sustainable and useful  tool for educational institutions.