In 1998 Seton Hall University launched its Mobile Computing Program, providing laptop computers to all incoming freshmen in order to provide “anywhere, anytime” access to learning resources. The University recognizes that the definition of “mobile” is evolving and no longer solely refers to a laptop computer. Many students bring a smartphone to campus that has roughly the same computing power as the laptop computers used by the first cohort of students in the Mobile Computing Program.
The evolution in mobility continues with the introduction of a plethora of tablet devices, led by the introduction of Apple’s iPad. Smartphones and tablets are “always on, always connected” and highly mobile, and could enable students to connect to their learning resources even more conveniently, engage with their peers and faculty in a deeper and more frequent manner and provide for greater time on task with the integration into specific disciplines . In response to some of the early trends concerning smartphone use by college aged students, Seton Hall University launched its SHUmobile Project in 2008.
The SHUmobile Project is intended to enhance the University’s Mobile Computing Program through three broad goals:
- To extend Seton Hall University’s rich technological environment to highly mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets;
- To present and assess new and innovative teaching and learning solutions through the use of highly mobile devices in the curriculum; and
- To communicate with and engage our students and faculty using methods that are more common to mobile devices.
The strategy adopted to make the University’s resources available via highly mobile devices is a “progressive strategy” that focuses on “mobilizing” the back end information sources, such as Blackboard, Banner, and the campus Web site, with continual development of additional data sources.
The SHUmobile strategy also makes three assumptions. The first is that the definition of “mobile” is evolving and changing and so will this project. The second is to develop services that will be made available on all “web-enabled” phones while enhancing the experience with device specific applications. Lastly, the SHUmobile project assumes that our services will be carrier agnostic and community members on all US carriers can take advantage of the University’s mobile offerings.
Current Plans and Initiatives
SHUmobile App 2.0
The SHUmobile team continues to work with both Blackboard and Ellucian on the development of the SHUmobile application to make additional University learning resources and services available to users with a variety of smartphones and tablets.
SHUmobile Academic Projects