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Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Higher Ed Needs to Get Mobile Platforms Right


Mobile platforms are important new tools in engaging college students, so it stands to reason that higher education should have a vested interest in the subject. However, many schools have it wrong, according to Mehdi Maghsoodnia, CEO of education technology company Rafter.

The problem is a piecemeal approach to the issue. Too often, a school creates separate apps for various departments and organizations around campus that are developed on different operating systems. The end result is a disjointed experience that students simply won’t use. In his GigaOM article, Maghsoodnia suggests schools need to an all-inclusive approach that is easy to use and captivating for students. He also understands that will not be easy.

“Professors are a notoriously stubborn group and getting them to adopt mobile platforms isn’t simple,” he wrote. “Plenty of training, education, and practice are necessary. It’s also not cheap. And then there’s the daunting challenge of trying to keep 18- to 21-year-olds engaged for more than a few minutes.”

However, mobile apps also create opportunities to engage with students, who are often already on campus and looking online for easy ways to access information. They’re also more than willing to move on when they don’t or can’t find it.

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