Handheld Learning

apple-iphone-keyboardMany institutions of higher learning are waking up to the fact that learning takes place beyond the walls of the institution, hence the push over the last many years for online courses. Unfortunately, many of these same institutions are failing to realize the shift in the devices used for anytime, and more importantly “anywhere” learning. The more innovative schools adopted laptop programs in the late 90s in response to a the growing market in these computers. Though touting its core mission as teaching and learning,  my home institution missed the opportunity to become a leader in the fledging area of mobile learning. But that’s another story …..

It’s undeniable that mobile devices have permeated our culture. iPods (and other media devices) and smart phones are becoming a standard tool and entertainment platform for conducting our lives. Innovative universities like Abilene Christian University in Texas have recognized this, and are enriching the academic culture of their students. Their presentation at the 2008 Handheld Learning Conference demonstrates what is capable with the latest breed of handheld media/communication devices. Those interested in such learning technologies should keep an eye on Abilene Christian University’s implementation of mobile learning. It is the future …

About Michael Ritter PhD
Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, science textbook author, educational technology blogger, podcaster, and freelance media consultant.

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