Thursday, 3 February 2011

Having a "Mobile Strategy"

I have been to two conference-type gatherings recently, in which the question arose, "Does your university have a mobile strategy?"

The first was the European Apple Leadership Summit which took place 11 January 2011 and about which I blogged in two parts for the Beyond Distance Research Alliance blog -- part 1 and part 2. In that meeting it was stated that 40% of USA universities have an explicitly-stated mobile strategy. The second time I heard this was when I attended the Open University Winter Mobile Learning Festival, a wonderful showcase of the various ways in which the OU is beginning to address students' growing assumptions that they should be able to access their learning materials on their mobile devices.

Having a mobile strategy is a policy that is, in a way, being forced upon educators. While central service providers of institutions struggle to consider which platforms, if any, to support, especially during a time of economic downturn and possibly less resources with which to launch new systems support of any kind, students are arriving on campus with iPads, iPhones, and Android phones -- and soon Android tablets... not to mention Windows 7 phones which are making a slow start but seem to be a pleasing product.

Does your institution have a mobile strategy? If not, what sort of mobile strategy would you like to see being adopted?

Terese Bird
SPIDER Project, Beyond Distance Research Alliance

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