Guidelines for using mobile devices in higher education

Szczecinski, Robert Alan
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University of Delaware
iPads and other mobile devices are increasingly popular in higher education, but making use of them in the educational environment and integrating them into existing pedagogy can be challenging. The literature has confirmed both the potential of iPads in education and the challenges with integration. Results of case studies conducted with three higher-education institutions identify both the opportunities and the challenges of iPad use. Findings include recognition that the iPad will be an important tool for improving the overall educational experience for both teachers and students. To realize the benefits of the tool, however, colleges/universities will have to address the challenges of implementation and adapt to a changing environment. This project recommends guidelines and strategies for iPad integration to help increase the likelihood of success in improving how instructors teach and students learn in the classroom. These recommendations highlight the importance of providing access to iPads, with incentives, and a commitment by instructors and students to fully utilize them in their educational activities. The establishment of funding sources to support iPad availability is critical. Key internal and external partnerships should be developed, and the need for instructors to use and promote use of the iPad as part of their curriculum and research activities is important. Communication, feedback, and sharing of success stories are seen as key elements to build support. Sharing an inventory of apps that will help improve student engagement and learning is a good model for success. Finally, a solid infrastructure to support successful integration of iPads into the educational environment and pedagogy must be built, including ongoing training and user support.