Monday, March 2, 2009

Mobiles - a Horizon Report 2009 Trend

The Horizon Report 2009 ( begins its list of major trends expected to effect higher education with “Mobiles.” The horizon timeline for this trend is 1 year or less…so it’s predicted to be an imminent trend to effect education. The Horizon Report’s opening statement on this trend follows:

The unprecedented evolution of mobiles continues to generate great interest. The idea of a single portable device that can make phone calls, take pictures, record audio and video, store data, music, and movies, and interact with the Internet — all of it — has become so interwoven into our lifestyles that it is now surprising to learn that someone does not carry one. As new devices continue to enter the market, new features and new capabilities are appearing at an accelerated pace. One recent feature — the ability to run third-party applications — represents a fundamental change in the way we regard mobiles and opens the door to myriad uses for education, entertainment, productivity, and social interaction.

Mobiles (also called handhelds and personal digital assistants) include broadband devices such as the Smartphone and Apple’s iPhone and iTouch iPod. The report notes the replacement of laptop or portable computers with mobiles. This is becoming a more realistic approach because many mobiles can now run 3rd party applications.

The 1.2 billion phones produced each year include new features such as location awareness (we’ll talk about geo-tagging and geo-everything as another trend) and as devices for creating and accessing content by both faculty and students. Smartphone applications can allow users to access text, calculate, and play educational games (ex. Art Masterpiece ID game, CRAM test review) as well as to integrate with web-based applications (email, ebooks, podcasts, updates to social networks like Facebook and Twitter).

New tools such as Stoneware’s WebNetwork 5e2 enable access to data from anywhere, anytime: using any device, including mobiles.

You can check out, which includes links tagged by the Horizon Advisory Board and friends. Simply follow the link to find additional resources and examples of this trend. You can add to this list, by tagging resources with “hz09” and “mobile” when you save them to Delicious.

Tomorrow: trend #2, Cloud Computing.

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