Between the ever-expanding popularity of tablets and the continued rise of smartphone ownership, all evidence points to an unabated focus on the adoption of new mobile devices and innovative technologies. According to a study by the Online Publishers Association, smartphone owners have increased by 44 percent between 2011 and 2012 and that figure is expected to increase to 57 percent during 2013. As mobile device adoption has increased, so, too, have the number of new applications. From mobile banking to real-time entertainment, there's seemingly no end to what Americans have come to expect from their mobile lifestyles. And, higher education is a market where mobile technology is playing an especially prominent role.
Today's digital natives are no longer confined to their desktops as the mobile revolution spreads across higher education. Florida Lynn University, for example, is requiring all freshmen enrolled in fall 2013 semester to purchase an iPad mini in order to guarantee a "truly modern college experience." Seton Hill is providing all new, full-time students with iPads, while the Illinois Institute of Technology is providing the popular devices to all first-year undergraduates.
The utility and ubiquity of mobile devices, in combination with the digital aptitude of the students who use them, are transforming the educational landscape and bringing a host of new benefits to higher education. Mobile technologies are creating new ways for students to connect with their course materials, their classes and their colleagues, while also providing new ways to save money, while increasing access, productivity and flexibility.