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Technology and Learning Environments in Higher Education

Tracey Wilen-Daugenti

The Internet has transformed higher education by changing the way universities and colleges teach students. As a result, many institutions are struggling to understand how the next generation of Internet technologies, including Web 2.0, multimedia, virtual presence, gaming, and the proliferation of mobile devices, will impact their students and infrastructures. .edu: Technology and Learning Environments in Higher Education discusses how higher education institutions can use these technologies to enable learning environments. In the future, students will have complete access to any higher education resource, including expert scholars, lectures, content, courseware, collaborative dialogues, information exchanges, hands-on learning, and research – no matter where they are located. If fully enabled, this new learning environment will blur the lines between on- and off-campus experiences and remove barriers to learning and research – greatly improving the quality of education for students globally.
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3. Mobile Devices



Mobile Devices

Mobile learning, or M-learning, is another trend under exploration in higher education. Nearly all college students in most developed and many developing countries own a mobile device and use it frequently, both on and off campus. New product models are released every few weeks by many manufacturers. These gadgets contain multimedia functionality, are typically feature-rich, and are equipped not only for phone calls and text messages but also for connecting to Web sites and playing games online. The adoption of mobile devices in higher education, however, has been slow. Some educators do not understand how to use these devices in learning, and others are uncomfortable with technology, despite research studies documenting positive input from students about mobile learning. Technology limitations and concerns about security and privacy are also factors to slow adoption. Despite these obstacles, mobile devices continue to receive positive evaluations by researchers from academic institutions for their use in education.

The growth of mobile devices

Students and their families in the United States spent about $12.8 billion on ← 23 | 24 → electronics in 2007, up about 22% from 2006. Much of this spending was on cell phones and newer mobile devices such as the Apple iPhone.1 The growth and adoption of mobile devices are astounding and continue to increase. More than 50% of all U.S. households own at least one digital camera, mobile phone, and PC and have Internet access. By 2010, mobile phones will reach 19...

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