Smart Phone Use in a Higher Educational Setting
INST 525 Eileen O'Sullivan

Potential Academic Uses

Smart phones may be used in the classroom to engage students, access real-time feedback and answer questions in an anonymous way. (Der)

Hotseat at Purdue University

Hotseat was developed at Purdue University as a way to include and improve on existing backchannel solutions for learning environments (particularly for large lecture halls). It is a social networking tool that creates a backchannel of collaborative discussion both in and out of the classroom. It allows students to provide near real-time feedback during class, potentially enabling faculty to adjust course content and enrich the overall classroom experience. Hotseat makes this interaction possible by taking advantage of the mobile devices that students already bring into the classroom and by using popular social tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging.

classroomphoto © 2009 velkr0 | more info (via: Wylio)

Instructors provide a question, comment, or framework, and students contribute a short response using their preferred mobile device. These responses, or "thoughts" within Hotseat, are automatically updated as submitted by the class. Students can read, vote, and comment on posts made by other students, thus identifying common questions or areas of discussion. Access to Hotseat is granted by the student's standard university login and password and is typically based on course enrollment. Some faculty also choose to broaden the conversation by allowing open contribution to the discussion topic from people outside of the class. These features allow for rapid community building in the course. (Aagard, Bowen, & Olesova, 2010, November 3)

Real-time Feedback Tool

Smart phones are an ideal tool to provide real time feedback and assessment to improve learning and teaching outcomes.

To Capture Data "in the field"

The small form factor of smartphones makes them more portable than a laptop or computer and it can utilize a wireless network or a cell phone network for Internet connectivity.

Smart phones are being used in clinical settings by clinicians primarily to support clinical decisions related to direct patient care at the bedside. Physicians' use of the Internet and PDAs is growing, with 60% to 70% of medical students and residents using PDAs for educational purposes and patient care in 2006. When a wireless network is not available (such has in a community center or smaller hospital) the smart phone is an alternative devise. (León, Fontelo, Green, Ackerman and Liu, 2007).

To Deliver Health Services

Smoking-Cessation Using Cell Phone Text Messaging

Smoking cessation programs are starting to use mobile phones, particularly as adjuncts to quitlines and Internet quit coaches, e.g. the NHS Stop Smoking Service’s ’Together’ program ( support-at-home/) and theNew ZealandQuitline ’Txt2quit’ program ( Cessation interventions that are aimed at young adults appear ideally suited for delivery via mobile phones, as young people appreciate the anonymity and confidentiality allowable, and the ease of use anywhere at anytime. Other
possible benefits of mobile phone-based smoking cessation interventions include: cost-effective delivery and scalability to large populations regardless of location, the ability to tailor messages to key user characteristics (such as age, sex, ethnicity), the ability to send time-sensitive messages with an ’always on’ device and the provision of content that can distract the user from cravings, and the ability to link the user with others for social support. (Obermayer, J., Riley, W., Asif, O., & Jean-Mary, J., 2004).

Preventing weight gain in first year college students

Researchers are evaluated an Internet intervention with first year college students randomly assigned to one of four treatment conditions: 1) no treatment, 2) 6-week online intervention 3) 6-week weight and caloric feedback only (via email), and 4) 6-week combined feedback and online intervention. The combined intervention group had lower Body Mass Indexes at post-testing than the other three groups. This study demonstrated the effectiveness and feasibility of an online intervention to prevent weight gain among college students. (Gow, Trace, & Mazzeo, 2010)

Improve Student Retention

At Georgia Gwinnett, a public, four-year, noncompetitive-admissions college founded in 2005, professors are offered a state-of-the-art smartphone and a Sprint data plan that includes the most sophisticated wireless Internet coverage. This smartphone program was created to defy the historically low retention rates typical of colleges that set such a modest bar for admission (Georgia Gwinnett admits any Georgia high school graduate). And so far, they say, it is working. The retention rate for returning sophomores at Georgia Gwinnett stands at 75%. That is about double the average rate for noncompetitive-admissions colleges in Georgia, according to Tom Mundie, dean of the school of science and technology at Georgia Gwinnett, and on par with many public institutions that have competitive admissions. In engagement surveys, Mundie says, students have reported "feeling that faculty care about and are accessible to them." (Kolowich, 2010, August 20)

I don't dig © 2009 Zoe | more info (via: Wylio)

Accessibility Support

Providing hearing-impaired students with learning care after classes through the use of text chat on smart phones connected to a system (GPRS) that allows teachers to manage their interactions with students after classes. Student reactions identified effective strategies regarding student–teacher interaction while teachers utilised the wireless network and handheld devices to provide learning support. Questionnaire results demonstrated that most students and their parents considered student– teacher interaction and strategies through GPRS and smart phones effective in improving student learning at home. (Chen-Chung, & Yi-Ching, 2007).

Wireless carriers are competing to offer service plans specifically for individuals with disabilities and innovative mobile devices with built-in accessibility features or compatibility with Assistive Technology ("AT") and applications which may replace expensive, immobile assistive communication devices at significantly less cost. CTIA's member companies' consider all disabilities including hearing, visual, physical or cognitive impairments simultaneously when designing and offering a communications device or service. (CTIA, Wireless Accessibility)


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