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Use Of Mobile Devices In Higher Education Information Technology Essay

Mobile devices are on track to become the main technology for use in education in the future. It is going to advance, improve, and become enhanced with each generation of students learning with them. A connected 24/7 teacher is now available with more information and knowledge then their human teacher. As use of mobile devices continues to expand and users take advantage of new technologies available on these platforms, it becomes necessary to examine how these technologies will affect on higher education. The number of mobile phone subscriptions has reached 5.9 billion, an impressive figure in a world of 7 billion people. 30% of the world’s mobile users live in India and China.  The mobile phone is increasingly being seen as a fashion accessory and status symbol which is becoming an overwhelming social status aspect, especially among the youth. Our youngsters have been completely mesmerized and hypnotized by this magical device. Universities should play a pivotal role in this regard and promote awareness to utilize this electronic device in a constructive manner. Educators need to continue to look for new ways to motivate students in order to maximize their learning, and one way to accomplish this objective may be by delivering the content on devices of their choice. The cost of mobile devices will become lower than textbook costs, and continue to fall. And this trend will continue as more and more publishers turn to e-book publishing which is cheaper for the publishers and cheaper for their readers. This paper explores the changing scenario of higher education globally with the invention of mobile devices that gives a challenge to teaching community. Study also explains the trends in mobile usage by MD College students.

Keywords: Mobile technology-Higher education, Mobile learning – Library, Mobile device – University education, Smart phones – Impact on Education

INTRODUCTION –

The craze of mobile phones started after 1990’s in the world, but it has now touched the level of esteem. First it was just for a status symbol but now it has become a dire need of the day and is in the reach of everyone. Surprisingly students often forget their textbooks but never forget their phones. As use of mobile devices continues to expand and users take advantage of new technologies available on these platforms, it becomes necessary to examine how these technologies will affect user privacy, and in turn, how librarianship will respond to these challenges. Any mobile device and its use in education is entirely dependent upon electrical power, network connectivity and user competency. Mobile devices network availability and penetration is happening at a dramatic pace in developing countries since it is inexpensive to develop apps for mobile platforms, there is a rapidly growing amount of free or low-cost apps for mobile devices, many of which are suitable for education. The number of mobile phone subscriptions has reached 5.9 billion, an impressive figure in a world of 7 billion people. Mobile phones today go beyond just voice communication & provide a multitude of other features & services including text messaging (SMS), multimedia messaging (MMS), and photo-display with respect to these features. 2011 ends with almost 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions. Growing 45 percent annually for the past four years, mobile cellular subscriptions have hit 5.9 billion throughout the world. The world population is 7 billion.

DEFINITION –

A mobile phone (also known as a cellular phone, cell phone and a hand phone) is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator.

A mobile device, or handheld, is an electronic device that enables some kind of computing, and which is small enough to be easily carried around. These devices are quite pervasive nowadays. Commonly used mobile devices include cell phones, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), and multimedia players.

TYPES OF MOBILE DEVICES–

Today mobile phones range widely in price and functionality. Besides texting and voice capabilities, most phones offer tools such as an address book, a variety of ring tones, a camera and an alarm clock, a calculator and MP3 player and FM radio. Smart 3G Phones have internet access & video capabilities.

2.1 SMART PHONES-

In 2012, Samsung sold 213 million smart phones with a 30 per cent market share, followed by Apple Inc, which sold 135.8 million iPhones with a 19 per cent market share, the report said. Samsung Electronics Co, the world's top handset maker, sold 63 million smart phones in the fourth quarter and commanded a 29 per cent share of the global smart phone market, a report by research firm Strategy Analytics as on 24th Jan 2013.

Smart phones, with their combination of Internet and Wi-Fi access as well as cellular communication capabilities, are perhaps the devices driving mobility today, for both professional and consumer purposes iPhones and Android smart phones in particular are showing rapid growth.

Gone are the days when students would pore over textbooks try to cram in before board exams. Tech savvy students are using their android phones to prepare for their Classes X and XII board exams. To help students prepare for exams, Attano education solution providers has launched an e-book reader. This is the only app on android phones in India that offers purchase of educational e-books. Now, the company is also offering last-minute preparatory material for ICSE and CBSE. Students can directly download these e-books to their computers or even on their android phones. This material has e-sample papers that students can solve and get Instant reports. Over 20,000 students in Maharashtra state are using such services

2.2 TABLET PC

The tablet, as a category of mobile computing devices, is less dependent on size or weight than on input. They are computing devices that take input from a stylus and/or touch screen (convertible tablets also offer a keyboard). Early tablet PCs championed by Microsoft used pen-based computing and ran a tablet-customized version of Windows XP (Windows Tablet PC Edition)

2.3 NETBOOKS

Netbooks are great because they're inexpensive, usually have long battery lives, and can do the most common (least processor-intensive) tasks most of us use our computers for, like surfing the web, checking email, and using office productivity programs.

2.4 LAPTOPS

Laptops have the most computing power of the mobile devices listed here and they can be very travel-friendly, they are actually the least portable of mobile device options; many people are even starting to replace (or supplement) using regular laptops with smaller, more mobile devices.

2.5 WIKI READER

With more than three million interconnected articles in a completely offline, handheld package, the Wiki Reader is discovery, investigation, entertainment, and inspiration all rolled into one.

APPLICATION OF MOBILE DEVICES IN HIGHER EDUCATION –

The cost of mobile devices will become lower than textbook costs, and continue to fall. And this trend will continue as more and more publishers turn to e-book publishing which is cheaper for the publishers and cheaper for their readers. Authors are now able to self-publish into e-Books as well with an array of free software available to do that. City libraries and University libraries around the world are digitizing their collection of text books to e-books as their member and students are no longer confined by geographical distances. Most of their readers would like to access books from the comfort of their homes or from wherever they are instead of physically travelling to the library. Museums’ are digitizing centuries old text books to preserve them. Academics and researchers can now carry hundreds of e-books on their 2 gram USB drives instead of carting 200 kilograms of text books in boxes.

Now students can read not only the books that are required in their classrooms but get additional information and knowledge as and when required, even when they are reading it away from the classroom. A connected 24/7 teacher is now available with more information and knowledge then their human teacher.

Along with simplifying the process, mobile device management today can also execute a wider range of orders than in times past. Along with remote configuration and provisioning new applications, mobile device management can also be used to backup files and applications to a remote location, retrieve those copies in the event that data needs to be restored on the mobile device, and even manage remote software installation to update applications already on the device.

ROLE OF LIBRARY -

4.1 CIRCULATION SERVICES

Many patrons are interested in receiving text messages to inform them of overdue books, holds ready for pick-up or to renew their books online. Some ILSs such as innovative AirPac provide some of these services.

4.2 ASK-A-LIBRARIAN

Text messaging and Instant Messaging the reference desk are very popular services.

4.3 TWITTER

Twitter is a natural for mobile communication and libraries can utilize it to keep their patrons informed.

4.4 YOU TUBE can be used as publishing tool for marketing of library and library products.

A survey conducted by Maharshi Dayanand College library on use of mobile phones by college students. The study addresses a variety of questions. What are the most common uses of mobile phones amongst the college students? What is the frequency of sending SMS per day? How many hours’ students used mobile in a day?

Only undergraduate students of Arts, Science, Commerce (UG-1) and Professional courses students of BMM, B & I, BFM and Computer Sc. (UG-2) were participated in the study. Postgraduate students were also taken for study. Request to fill the questionnaire were given to the students. A total of 100 responses were received during the month of December 2012. Out of 100 respondents 40 are from UG -1 category, 40 are from UG -2 category and 20 M.Sc. students are taken.

HOURS OF MOBILE PHONE USAGE PER DAY BY STUDENTS [Table1]

Hours of Mobile Phone usage per day

UG -1

UG-2

PG

0-1 hr

4 (10%)

0

0

1-2 hr

11(27.5%)

12(30%)

4(20%)

3-4 hrs

12(30%)

17(42.5%)

7(35%)

5-6 hrs

8(20%)

5(12.5%)

6(30%)

More than 6 hrs.

5(12.5%)

6(15%)

3(15%)

Total

40 (100%)

40 (100%)

20 (100%)

Data shows that maximum students are using mobile phones 3-4 hours per day. [Chart1]

[Table 2] Frequency of SMS/text messaging by students

Frequency of SMS/text messaging

UG-1

UG-2

PG

Never

0

0

0

Rarely

1(2.5%)

2(5%)

1(5%)

Once a day

11(27.5%)

8(20%)

5(25%)

3-4 times in a week

8(20%)

5(12.5%)

6(30%)

Multiple times a day

20(50%)

25(62.5%)

8(40%)

Total

40(100%)

40(100%)

20(100%)

All the category students are using SMS service many times in a day. [Chart 2]

[Figure 3]

Table 3

Purpose of Use of Mobile phones

UG-1

UG-2

PG

Emergency

40(100%)

40(100%)

20(100%)

To keep touch with friends

25(62.5%)

27(67.5%)

15(75%)

To keep touch with parents

24(60%)

29(72.5%)

12(60%)

It offers good value

12(30%)

14(35%)

8(40%)

Web browsing

20(50%)

32(80%)

14(70%)

Study related work

15(37.5%)

30(37.5%)

18(90%)

Reminders

10(25%)

10(25%)

8(40%)

Calendar

14(35%)

16(40%)

7(35%)

Alarm clock

35(87.5%)

31(77.5%)

17(85%)

Listen music

36(90%)

40(100%)

15(75%)

Taking pictures

36(90%)

40(100%)

14(70%)

Watch movie

12(30%)

19(47.5%)

10(50%)

Snapshot of time table, Notes, imp. Notices

40(100%)

40(100%)

20(100%)

Respondents were asked the various usages of mobile phones and found that 100% students keep the phone for emergency. All are using mobile for taking snapshot of the timetable displayed in the college notice board and important notices. They did not want to write in the note book; instead they find it convenient with mobiles. [Chart3]

IMPACT ON COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY-

Mobile phone has affected almost every field of life but its effects on students learning especially at university level are deep and in multidimensional and multifarious. Our youngsters have been completely mesmerized and hypnotized by this magical device. Universities should play a pivotal role in this regard and promote awareness to utilize this electronic device in a constructive manner. The mobile phone is increasingly being seen as a fashion accessory and status symbol which is becoming an overwhelming social status aspect, especially among the youth.

Aakash tablets were launched by MHRD in October 2011. These are Low Cost Access cum- computing Devices. The National Mission on Education using ICT (NME-ICT) envisages that these tablets should be deployed for empowering our students and teachers. Under this project, IIT Bombay plans to deploy the Aakash tablets in select engineering institutions in India, with two objectives. The first is to test and enhance the effectiveness of these tablets for use in class rooms. The second is development of new educational applications and contents on Aakash, largely through final year Research and Development projects done by BE/ME students at these Institutes.

The next edition of the low-cost Aakash tablet will have a SIM card slot, a faster processor, higher memory capacity, and will be able to function on both the android operating system and Linux

Scottsdale Community College (SCC) in Arizona, for example, is equipping about 125 faculty and students in a handful of classes with Apple iPads. The college has also purchased iPads for the library and tutoring centers for student use, and it bought another batch for other faculty and staff to evaluate. "It’s about better engaging students in class, seeing how instructional support areas can use the devices in terms of working with students, and finding out if faculty and staff can use them to be more efficient and effective," says Lisa Young, an instructional design and educational technology faculty member at SCC.

St Julian's School, Newport had lifted the ban on mobile phones recently, because they realized that the most of the students had got powerful mobile device in their pockets and the school just wouldn't be able to afford to provide all of them with that level of technology. School teachers needed to take advantage of the fact they all had mobiles. Obviously, the use of the mobiles is up to each teacher but they use a cloud based environment and so the children need to access that. Students can do that with their mobile phones at the bus stop, at home or if they are waiting at school for something. They have an app they use for their timetable. Many of the teachers are also using twitter to give instructions to students that has proved to be very popular.

ADVANTAGE & DISADVANTAGES OF MOBILE PHONES IN HIGHER EDUCATION-

Some positive and negative impacts of mobile phone on students’ performance at the university/college level include –

POSITIVE IMPACT

NEGATIVE IMPACTS

1

To contact easily with classmates, parents and teachers

It is a cause of disturbance to college students when they are busy in their lecture or projects in classroom or libraries.

2

To use internet to search out the useful information. Mobile acts as a mini computer.

Mobile phones are going to become the great tool of free relationship in the young generation.

3

To trace easily the teachers, classmates for the solution of educational problems.

Long conversation on mobile phones cut down their study time.

4

College can send SMS of their result, important alerts etc.

Sometimes they become of the victim of emotional, physical & psychological problems

5

To use as a calculator

Always available on social networking sites, that cut down their study time.

6

To use blue tooth infrared technology to transfer the data from mobile phone to mobile phone or to computer to computer.

Misuse of data sometimes ruins the human relations.

7

To take a snapshot of timetable and important notices

Long conversations and Listening music through ear plugs with high volume may cause hearing loss.

SUGGESTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE MOBILE DEVICES IN ACADEMIC SECTOR

To successfully implement a mobile computing initiative, colleges need faculty buy-in, a strong professional development program that empowers teachers to use the technology, and a robust infrastructure that includes a strong wireless network and good bandwidth. Educators and designers will need to consider the capacities of these devices as they design educational content and resources that take advantage of the power of mobile learning. They will also need to try to anticipate the best uses of improved technologies to improve the experiences of learners. Educators need to continue to look for new ways to motivate students in order to maximize their learning, and one way to accomplish this objective may be by delivering the content on devices of their choice.

CONCLUSION

A few years ago, students like faced punishment for pulling out cell phones or other mobile technology in class. Today, more teachers see the devices not as distractions but as tools to help students learn. And experts say the future of education may revolve around these hand-held instruments. The move to mobile computing on campus coincides with a push among educational publishers toward digital content, such as electronic textbooks, multimedia-rich applications, online videos and other online tools for teachers and students. In future due to mobile device there will be no need to have dedicated computer labs, specific computer desks, chairs and computer lab space – which also means no IT support required, no IT staff needed, no servicing, repairs and maintenance of computers required. Mobile devices are on track to become the main technology for use in education in the future. It is going to advance, improve, and become enhanced with each generation of students learning with them. Teaching faculty need to know how to use the mobile device so they can make things easier for the students.

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