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.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Smartphones Are Still Too Delicate

Most young people, and college students in particular, are tethered to their smartphones.  They use them to make purchases, check social media, and even study from time to time. Professors write odes to their distraction.

There is one problem with this picture: Damage or lose the device and you’ve lost contact with the world.

“I can’t begin to explain how isolated I felt,” Jeff Kagan, a columnist for E-Commerce Times, wrote after dropping his iPhone. “You would never understand unless you had a problem with your smartphone yourself. It’s very uncomfortable.”

It’s up to device manufacturers to address the issue, according to Kagan. He would like to see smartphones that are shock- and water-resistant. There also need to be ways to track them if they are lost, and an easy way to shut them off if they are stolen.

“Bottom line—smartphones and apps are the future,” he wrote. “ We can use them as a remote control for our lives. However, if we are actually to trust these devices with our important information, they have to live up to the challenge. Today, they don’t.” 

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