Over the last 20 years, the use of technology in education has become more and more prevalent. As computers grew increasingly affordable for schools and colleges, a greater number of educational institutions established computer labs and required students to possess their own laptop computers in order to complete assignments and communicate with instructors.
Similarly, many instructors routinely use smart-boards in their classrooms for demonstration and classroom lectures. Besides offering instructors instant access to more electronic resources, smart-boards have also enhanced the educational experience since their usage captures students’ attention and increases their chances of retaining educational material taught by instructors.
Now that tablet computers and other mobile computing tools are easier for school systems and institutions of higher learning to afford, they are routinely incorporated into educational environments. Mobile computing technology is particularly useful for visual, auditory and verbal learners, since it can be easily personalized to suit the different ways in which students absorb classroom lessons and remember information taught to them by instructors.
Mobile technology has proven invaluable for use outside typical classroom environments. For students studying subjects such as biology, agriculture and medicine, using a mobile data collection system involving tablet computers and mobile phones enables them to easily record, save and collate data from the field for educational purposes.
And as tablet computers become even more popular, it appears likely that they may even rival PCs in popularity. According to the 2012 Forrester blog post “Why Tablets Will Become Our Primary Computing Device” by Frank Gillett, Gillett predicts that as many as 760 million tablet computers will be in use worldwide by 2016. Similarly, Portio Research predicts that mobile phone usage will grow to 8.6 billion subscriptions by 2016.
Besides the mobile collection of data by students and instructors, mobile computing has additional potential applications. It could be adopted to enable students, parents, instructors and alumni to rapidly access school websites, distance learning sites library catalogs and administrative services.
But it appears that educational institutions will be most likely to utilize mobile computing for mobile data collection outside a normal classroom environment. A mobile data collection system such as COMMANDmobile® could be easily adapted by many educational institutions, especially those of higher learning, because it would offer advantages such as:
- Portability: Data could be collected from virtually any location and stored for later retrieval.
- Versatility: Methods of data collection could be tweaked in order to personalize a student’s learning experience.
- Improved computer literacy: Students would be challenged to learn and use mobile data collection technologies, which would enhance students’ computer literacy.
- Ease of upgrading: The COMMANDmobile system could be easily changed and upgraded as needed, as opposed to paper-based data collection forms that are time-consuming and less friendly to the environment.
To see a demo of the COMMANDmobile system’s capability, visit the COMMANDmobile website for more information.