My April 1st post “Time to get on the mobile learning train!” was not an April Fool’s joke. A mobile learning revolution is underway, and learners at our colleges and universities are (in many areas) on the leading edge of this change. While many in K-12 schools continue to ban all cell phones and balk at the suggestion students and teachers should be using them NOW for learning, a growing number of colleges are proactively moving to embrace the opportunities which mobile data access provides.

AT&T Wireless has announced a new contest for college students, focused on encouraging the creative development of mobile applications for social networking and collaboration. The 2008 Big Mobile on Campus Challenge is open now through the end of the summer: 31 August 2008. Full-time students and staff at colleges and universities are eligible to participate and win a variety of prizes. See the official rules for details before submitting your application which can include your “Business Case and Supporting Documents (pdfs or PowerPoint presentation) and One (1) Screen Shot of Your Application on a Mobile Device.

I’m delighted to see contests like this encouraging application innovation for mobile devices. The iPhone web apps website has EXPLODED with new applications in the past few weeks. My explorations into these applications have just started, and the possibilities here are VERY exciting. Compare the content available from a traditional, print-based textbook and an iPhone just loaded with Google Reader Mobile and Podcaster! Wow. I hope to do some video podcasts soon about some of these applications. It is true not many of our K-12 students have mobile devices capable of accessing data services on the Internet, but many more college students DO have those devices and WILL have them soon.

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3 Responses to College students: Win $$$ for developing social networking apps

  1. Suzie Boss says:

    Hi Wes,
    Thanks for encouraging us to think about ways to use mobile devices for learning. (Seems like a more useful conversation than the other one making the rounds–about students using their mobiles to capture teachers behaving badly, then posting videos on YouTube. Ouch.) You might be interested in the mobiles-for-good examples that MobileActive is gathering. More details in this post: http://www.edutopia.org/mobile-phone-technology-global-change
    Best,
    Suzie

  2. Kristine says:

    Hey Wes,
    It’s a point that will need to be made over and over before school administers begin to listen – mobile technology is not something that should be excluded in class, instead it should be harnessed and used to reinforce traditional teaching techniques.
    Thanks for pointing out the campus challenge- it’s a great idea.

  3. Wesley Fryer says:

    Thanks for the link Suzie, I hadn’t seen that link yet. Kristine you’re right– repetition is important for learning, and it certainly is going to be required (along with repetitive demonstrations) of the constructive role mobile devices can play in the learning process before many leaders “pay attention.”

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