February 27, 2017

Apps or web sites for publishing on mobile devices?

Pontin, J. (2010) Why publishers don’t like apps, Technology Review, May 7

This article is sub-titled: The future of media on mobile devices isn’t with applications but with the Web. Although focused on ‘traditional’ publishing such as magazines and newspapers, there may be lessons here for academic institutions that have online programs with large amounts of text and graphics.


It could be argued that in education we should no longer be designing large quantities of text and graphics, but  instead should consider the design of online courses from the outset with mobile devices in mind that take advantage not just of the ‘linkyness’ of mobile devices, but also their unique technological ‘affordances’ that may well include special apps.

On the other hand most institutions have ‘legacy’ text-based courses that cannot be redesigned from scratch for cost reasons. This article may be highly relevant for making such courses available on mobile devices.

Well worth a read, but I’m not altogether convinced by Pontin’s argument (except for his criticism of Apple’s digital publishing system) – what’s your experience in porting online courses to mobile devices?

Thanks to Matt Bury for directing me to this via LinkedIn

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