An Introduction to Current Trends and Benefits of Mobile Wireless Technology Use in Higher Education
SANG HYUN KIM, CLIF MIMS, AND KERRY P. HOLMES The University of Mississippi Oxford, MS USA email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
The development of mobile wireless technologies has generated a considerable amount of excitement among practitioners and academics because it results in shifting the academic environment from traditional settings to mobile learning (m-learning) settings. Increasing numbers of institutions of higher education offer courses using mobile wireless technologies as alternative teaching and learning tools. However, regardless of such interests in mobile wireless technologies in higher education, there is lack of academic research on the use of mobile wireless technologies in the higher education setting. The purpose of this article is to examine current information on mobile wireless technologies and answer three crucial questions such as (a) What types of mobile wireless technologies are currently being used in higher education? (b) How do mobile wireless technologies access to network resources? (c) What are the benefits of mobile wireless technologies in higher education? Without understanding of these issues, it is virtually impossible to study any subject of mobile wireless technologies in higher education.
Association for the Advancement of Computing In Education Journal, 14(1) For the last several decades, wired technologies have been used by educators, school administrators, students, and others in higher education to help them teaching and learning. In this century, however, institutions of higher learning are moving towards the use of mobile wireless technologies. Similar to other wired technologies, mobile wireless technologies have first been used in industry sectors such as business. The movement of mobile wireless technologies in education is a recent trend, and it is now becoming the hottest technology in higher education (Levine, 2002; McGhee & Kozma, 2001; McKenzie, 2001). For the past few years, educators and students in higher education have enjoyed the many benefits of wired technology. However, wired technology provides limited access for usage due to a lack of mobility. In other words, wired-technologies cannot provide anytime, anywhere functionality, a benefit now offered by mobile wireless technologies. The use of mobile wireless technologies can overcome the limitation of educational flexibility with wired technology. With the advantages of mobility, mobile wireless technologies help improve efficiency and effectiveness in teaching and learning (Maginnis, White, & Mckenna, 2000). Regardless of the fact that mobile wireless technologies provide many benefits to higher education, there is lack of academic study including research on the use of wireless technology in education, as well as academic study. Therefore, the goal of this article is to investigate information on mobile wireless technologies to determine its strengths in the teaching and learning environment in higher education. We sought answers to the following questions: (a) What types of mobile wireless technologies are currently being used in higher education? (b) How does mobile wireless technologies access to network resources? (c) What are the benefits of mobile wireless technologies in higher education?
UNDERSTANDING MOBILE WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES People often think mobile or wireless technologies are the same as mobile wireless technologies. Strictly speaking, mobile wireless technologies are different from mobile or wireless technologies simply because not all mobile technologies are wireless nor are all wireless technologies mobile. According to Malladi and Agrawal (2002), mobile wireless...