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GCN : September 2013
because it's mobile he can grade work while riding the bus, waiting for a meet- ing to start or during other downtime, he said. Ryan Seilhamer, an instructional de- signer at the University of Central Flor- ida's Center for Distributed Learning, seconds that notion. Instructors like it it gives them of the ability to quickly grade wherever they are. "I even had a faculty member tell me that he bought an iPad specifically so that he could use that ap- plication," he said. ONE FOR ALL? Instructors are quick to point out some of the limitations of mobile class-man- agement applications. One of the most- mentioned challenges is making sure students are staying focused when using computers, including mobile devices, in the classroom. "I stress to my students that while they think they can multitask, all of the re- search shows that we really can't," Mathur said. "Something is suffering when we try to do two things at once." Another limitation is the variety and availability of mobile devices. For start- ers, not all students have a smartphone or tablet, or they might not have one with a compatible operating system. "Does ev- ery student have these devices?" asked Seilhamer, whose group is responsible for designing and maintaining the learn- ing infrastructure. "If they don't, how can you possibly make an assignment that re- quires one?" On the server side, some universities may have to add resources to service the growing use of mobile devices. According to Seilhamer, his school al- ready had a sufficiently robust WiFi sys- tem to handle the growing loads of traf- fic. But the school did need to add Web servers to handle the increased usage. As for security, IT chose to isolate the mobile activity. The variety of mobile devices is also a challenge for developers writing native applications. "That's the trick of devel- oping for smartphones now," Reeve said. "There are so many different screen sizes. As we build mobile apps, we have to take that into consideration. At first we just worried about iOS and Android, but now Microsoft Surface is a hit." Reeve predicts that developers will abandon native applications in favor of adaptive Web applications using cascad- ing style sheets. "It will be just regular websites that adapt and you won't have the need to develop an application in all these different languages to work on the different devices," he said. Either way, vendors and instructors alike expect rapidly increasing use of mo- bile devices at all levels of education. "As mobile phones get more advanced in the future, there will be more unique ways to use these devices in the class," said Seil- hamer. • GCN SEPTEMBER 2013 • GCN.COM 27 FREE Webcast Series: 3rd Installment BROUGHT TO YOU BY GCN Video Surveillance: EMERGING SOLUTIONS FOR SECURING AGENCY ASSETS gcn.com/VideoSurveillance Register now at AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY SPONSORED BY NETAPP AND G TECHNOLOGIES WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013 AT2PMEST SPEAKER: MR. GRANT FREDERICKS, OWNER, VIDEO FORENSIC SOLUTIONS