Ewoks and the Death Star

Mobile learning, whether on an IPAD or a smartphone, is going to be crucial to the success of every online program in higher education. In one of my sessions, today, Eric Stoller discussed the mobile revolution and brought up some interesting points. The good news is that Blackboard has a mobile application that can aid SHSU in our part in the “revolution”

A few statistics were presented in the session, although I am not sure of the source and credibility of the statistics, nevertheless, they are likely a fair representation of reality.
75 percent of college students sleep next to their smartphone
33 percent of college students would give up television over their smartphone
39 percent of college students have used their smartphone in the restroom ( yuck)
By 2013 more people will use a smartphone to access the Internet than by using a computer.

The mobile revolution will take Sam Houston State University and the education we offer right to the place the students spend most of their time, on a mobile device. Imagine discussion boards, lectures, registering for class, university athletics, or library services in your hands anywhere and anytime.

The real challenge, as I learned, is to create an application that is student centric. This is something the students want, so let’s take it to them. It is simple economics, consumer wants and needs, and if the students are driving the demand then we need to have them in mind when designing the applications.

Designing a clean, frictionless application that gets students what they need in a simple, yet cuddly framework is essential. Eric Stoller likened the friendly simple mobile applications to an Ewok from Star Wars, and yes this is the real reason I came to this one. I’m a Star Wars geek. Providing the front end, cuddly feel, with underlying depth and strength of a “Death Star” will equate to a high traffic application. Placing the “Death Star” and it’s scary look on the front end of the application will scare users away. Therefore we must fuse these fictional entities to create a balance.

So we need a place where the Ewok and Death Star can coexist. Blackboard helps to bring these together with their mobile application. It is simple, user friendly, yet capable of great functions for enhancing learning. This was a wonderful session and I hope that we take this information and use it to drive the university and our top notch education right to the palm of the students hands, or paws if you are an Ewok.

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One thought on “Ewoks and the Death Star

  1. I have to say, the title is what dragged me in… I think having an easy way to get to blackboard on your smartphone will open up doors to many things. Great idea!

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