Mobile learning centre Algonquin College, Ontario

Fuhrman, T. (2011) Mobile strategy or moving target?, Campus Technology, November 1

This paper looks at five issues that need to be considered when developing a mobile strategy for university and college campuses, based on experience from Columbus State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison:

1. Develop own mobile website, apps, or both?

2. Inhouse, outsource or customize?

3. Cross-platform development

4. Costs

5. Security.

Since the answers all end up being: ‘It all depends’, you need to read the article for the answers.


From this and a number of other articles, campus mobile strategy (like many other technology innovations) seems to be driven primarily by student administrative and student service agendas, rather than by teaching and learning applications. Nothing wrong with using mobile for student services, of course, but again there is a danger that if there is not enough experimentation on the teaching side, key decisions that do not always support teaching applications will be made that will be difficult to reverse later on.

I just wish there was as much news and literature on strategies for the mobile learning side. However, I will shortly be reviewing a new book on mLearning that should answer some of these questions:

Quinn, Clark, N. (2012) The Mobile Academy: mLearning for Higher Education San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/John Wiley



  1. Student service apps focus on quick lookup for crucial, but ultimately trivial, details. Applications for teaching could be very different. Starting with a hard look at what won’t work “on the go” as well as what will. Do we envision a future where any and all learning activities can be done on the bus in a spare moment? Or maybe we’re starting with the low hanging fruit and moving towards a future where the handheld replaces the laptop … we just dock our handheld with whatever peripherals are needed when doing more involved work.

    • Thanks, Lynda

      Of course, I’m sure we’ll start with the low hanging fruit.

      What I’m struggling for are some ground rules as to what is appropriate to learn in a couple of minutes on a bus, and what can we do with mobile technology that still requires the mobile, but allows for more in-depth thinking or concerted activities that really exploit the technology. I’m thinking here of collecting data in the field, for instance.


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