For some individuals, the mobile device is the central hub for all interpersonal communications; phone conversations, email, text messaging, email, etc. All mobile devices share the common communication platform of Bluetooth. Bluetooth technology has already landed in retail stores across the United States, and now educators are hoping that it will give them an angle on the tech-generation as well.
To engage an audience that relies so heavily on their mobile devices, educators feel that the best way is by reaching out to their phones. The graphics capabilities and processing power of mobile phones has reached a point where educators can transmit informational videos, sound clips, pictures, web links, etc. directly to students’ phones. Whether in a lecture hall, or in a Bluetooth-enabled museum or historical site, students will now have something to take with them for further study.
By incorporating the mobile device into the educational process, the student feels much more involved and appreciated. Until now, students were required to either check out videos/books from the library, or write down a lengthy (and often confusing) web address and visit sites at home. Both of these options are multiple-step processes, and both quickly lose the interest of busy students. In this regard, Bluetooth technology is not a substitution for the outdated methods of spreading information, but is a new approach that minimizes the number of steps required to obtain information. Delivering information to their mobile devices guarantees that students will receive the information that they need in a timely manner, through a medium with which they are familiar and comfortable.
Restored Sense of Student Community
It is often said that the heavy use of cell phones is damaging a sense of student community because individuals use their phones as a shield to avoid interpersonal communication. By reaching out to the mobile device, campuses can restore a sense of community to their student body by bringing them together by their common thread, their use of mobile technology. Until now, the missing component, or cohesive element, bonding individuals to a community, has been a means by which to reach solitary mobile devices and bring them together to form a group or community. BlooZone devices allow educators to reach out to their students and bring them together for events, lectures, classes, meetings, demonstrations etc.
The result of bringing a sense of community to the mobile device has an offsetting effect to the illusion of isolation that mobile devices inherently instill in their heavy users. The feeling of inclusion, invitation and involvement that comes with reaching out to students’ mobile devices has a strong impact on restoring a sense of student community, and will ultimately result in a rebounding desire to be immersed in the educational process and student social activities.
Richard Jamison is an accomplished technology forecaster and a regular contributor to many popular ezines.