What is are Mobile Apps?

For several years now, a revolution has been taking place in software development that parallels similar shifts in the music, publishing, and retail industries. Mass market is giving way to niche market, and with it, the era of highly priced large suites of integrated software has shifted to a new view of what software should be. Mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS have redefined mobile computing, and in the past three to four years, the small, low-cost software extensions to these devices — apps — have become a hotbed of development. Simple but useful apps have found their way into almost every form of human endeavor, and a popular app can see millions of downloads in a very short time. The huge market for apps has spawned a flood of creativity that is instantly apparent in the extensive collections available in the app stores. Online app marketplaces provide an easy and highly efficient way to deliver software that reduces distribution and marketing costs significantly. Mobile apps continue to gain traction in education because they are particularly useful for learning as they enable people to learn and experience new concepts wherever they are, often across multiple devices.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Anecdotally, I have seen growth in students' use of mobile devices to connect to an online environment, technologies, content, and classmates in online learning in higher education, particularly tablets (iPad) and laptops. There also seems to be growth in the use of social media in teaching and learning online (with a focus on learner-centered, constructivist approaches). Therefore, I think there is potential to see new developments in mobile apps that cater to the specific needs of online learners, particularly related to collaboration, but also apps specific to academic areas. - Jolie Jolie Oct 23, 2014 - Elizabeth_Hodas Elizabeth_Hodas Oct 28, 2014
  • Mobile apps are being used in the department I've worked for for place-based learning activities. More and more students are demanding that if educational sites are recommended, that they be able to access them on their personal devices.- deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 27, 2014
  • It is use for quick search about the campus information. Jefrina- jefrina.jamaluddin jefrina.jamaluddin Oct 27, 2014
  • mobile technology can "push" information depending on context and other variables. These can be used for helping students in their education process and engagement as well as to help them manage the "educational logistics" and also at a holistic level, when well-being related apps supporting students emotional needs also appear for encouragement, support and others related to motivation-attention-engagement - edelera edelera Oct 27, 2014 - Elizabeth_Hodas Elizabeth_Hodas Oct 28, 2014
  • As well as utilising the Blackboard app for accessing our Virtual Learning Environment, here at the University of Leeds we also developed our own app that gives students information about everything up to and including which washing machines are currently available on campus: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/20011/undergraduate/1912/mobile_apps_from_the_university_of_leeds - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 27, 2014
  • As noted in last year's Horizon Report for Higher Ed, we are shifting from a consumer to a creator society. The power of mobile apps lie in their ability to create rich media content from the palm of one's hand. Ten years ago, this would have sounded like an implausible dream. At last count, 95% of students at CSU Channel Islands, where I am employed, owned a smartphone. Yet, relatively few faculty design activities for their courses that leverage the creation power of these tools. Creating rich media content supports Universal Design for Learning, as it provides learners with opportunities to express what they know in different ways. - mpacansky-brock mpacansky-brock Oct 27, 2014- joseph.cevetello joseph.cevetello Oct 28, 2014

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Apps have evolved quite significantly over a short period of time and the current trend to produce applications that focus on a niche or a micro function is quite interesting. Both Facebook and Google have recently begun un-bundling their larger applications allowing users even more customization of their mobile devices. (think Google Sheets, Presentations or Facebook Messenger) This no doubt has some to do with the rise in popularity of mobile applications that are focused on minimal functionality such as Instagram and the rethinking of the "homescreen" as a unique "custom toolbox" and more focus on user experience and engagement. http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2014/05/06/large-tech-companies-hopping-app-unbundling-trend/
    - brian.yuhnke brian.yuhnke Oct 22, 2014
  • The development of apps is an educational lesson in and of its own. The learning of coding and app development will be an important qualification for jobs in the future.- deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 27, 2014
  • How mobile technologies can automatically adapt to each learner, depending on their needs and preferences, and how these can greatly contribute to helping people with disabilities in a more incluse way. - edelera edelera Oct 27, 2014
  • The biggest problem we have with our apps is the fact that we have to make them work across all major platforms, as we operate a byod policy at our institution. However, we are piloting giving iPads to our students who they join us, which may negate the need for cross platform compatibility in the future, if the programme is rolled out. - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 27, 2014
  • Using mobile devices to create rich media content. - mpacansky-brock mpacansky-brock Oct 27, 2014
  • The assessment of mobile apps. The impact on teaching and learning. Are we using the technology just for the sake of using technology OR does it really impact faculty's teaching and student's learning. anna stoute- astoute astoute Oct 28, 2014
  • The role of mobile apps in microlearning and/or "chunking" of content. Mobile apps also play a role in the rise of blended or hybrid course design.
    - Elizabeth_Hodas Elizabeth_Hodas Oct 28, 2014

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • Currently, place-based learning opportunities.- deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 27, 2014
  • Mobile technologies in higher ed can help learners adapt their lifestyle, needs and preferences to their learning process and reinforce the learner's uniqueness as opposed to promoting homogeneity - edelera edelera Oct 27, 2014
  • Anytime any place anywhere learning via bespoke apps could change the way we learn and teach. - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 27, 2014 - Elizabeth_Hodas Elizabeth_Hodas Oct 28, 2014
  • Empower students through the process of content creation and diversify the learning environment to support the needs of more learners. - mpacansky-brock mpacansky-brock Oct 27, 2014

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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