The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. 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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