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Adapting to a New Norm with Mobile Computing

Adapting to a New Norm with Mobile Computing


mobile-computing-norm-mlearningBy Dr. Novadean Watson-Stone
Program Director, Information Technology at American Public University

People now comment without pause, “I don’t know what I would do without my smartphone and all my cool mobile apps.”  They guard and protect their mobile devices as they do their money. They shout, “Be careful with that laptop–I use it for work!” They shuffle around frantically or even experience a psychological meltdown if they lose their phone or mobile device.

People’s attitudes and behaviors have changed as mobile computing technology allows the flexibility of getting social and psychological fixes anywhere, any time. Mobile computing is transforming our society economically, academically, and socially.

Economically, mobile computing has taken a favorable shift in respect to productivity and flexibility. Companies such as Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint are in a race to meet the demands of mobile computing. Just recently Sprint and SoftBank announced My All-in Plan to guarantee talk, text, and data for life.[1] There has been a rise in mobile Wi-Fi hotspot use.

With this growing use of mobile computing, academic and training entities are embracing the technology and using it to enhance m-learning (mobile learning). One such technique is called chunking–learning small amounts of information in a given time. Due to the limited screen capacity of most mobile devices, this method of m-learning has proven ideal coupled with curriculum design and development strategies to afford learners an adaptable learning process. Interface and navigation pattern; font style and size; and meaningful content organization, mapping and relationship are some of the concerns educators and trainers are addressing to optimize m-learning. [2]

Socially, the ground is just as fertile for mobile computing. Everywhere we go we see people using mobile phones, smartphones, iPads, tabletPCs, PDAs, laptops or and other portable devices to connect with family and friends. They are also gaming, reading the news, pay bills, shopping, downloading music and videos, and watching movies and TV programs. Just about every aspect of life can be conducted over a mobile device.

Mobile computing is the ingredient needed to season the technology pot of connectivity, portability, cloud computing, interactivity, multimedia, collaboration, and miniaturization. As consumers increase demands and companies compete to provide products and services, we are sure to have more and more of our lives impacted by mobile technology.

About the Author:
Dr. Watson-Stone is currently the Program Director for the Graduate and Undergraduate Information Technology Programs at American Public University System (APUS), where she serves an aggressively growing department. She has over 13 years of experience in the Information Technology field. Recently, Dr. Watson-Stone presented her research e-Books Fad or Revolution at the Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium (April 9-11, Las Vegas), she co-published her research, Community College Survey Data: The Impact of Quantity and Quality on Informed Decision-Making, at the Association for Institutional Research Annual Forum, Jun 5, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana; and presented her research entitled Watch Gaming and Simulation Replace PowerPoint in the Classroom, January 14, 2012 at the Air Education and Training Command Symposium, San Antonio, Texas. She further co-published several other articles to include “RFID with Real Implications”, “Artificial Intelligence in Information Security”, and the “Evolution of Information Security.”

[1]Lawson, S. (2013). Sprint guarantees unlimited talk, text and data ‘for life’ Retrieved from http://www.itworld.com/mobile-wireless/364772/sprint-guarantees-unlimited-talk-text-and-data-life

[2] Attewell, J. & Savill-Smith, C. (2005). Mobile learning anytime everywhere: A book of papers from MLEARN 2004.  Retrieved from http://stu.westga.edu/~bthibau1/MEDT%208484-%20Baylen/mLearn04_papers.pdf#page=14