Mobile Picks Up Speed

PHILADELPHIA — The gateway to the college campus is no longer two pieces of wrought iron that swing on hinges; it is a software interface that fits in your pocket.

The proliferation of mobile apps is one of the more significant findings of the 2011 Campus Computing Survey, an annual study of technology officials at about 500 nonprofit colleges conducted by the Campus Computing Project.

Other key findings include the continuing rise of electronic texts and reading devices, the continuing decline of Blackboard’s share of the market for learning management platforms, and the continuing reluctance of administrators to cede certain data systems to the cloud. Kenneth C. Green, the director of the project, is slated to unveil this year’s survey today here at the Educause conference today. (Green also is a blogger for Inside Higher Ed, and conducts surveys for Inside Higher Ed.)

The rise of mobile has been a theme in higher-education technology for a while — not least at Educause, where several software companies last year told Inside Higher Ed they had shifted their development priorities to focus on mobile apps first, browser apps second.

But when Green released the 2010 survey data, the institutions that had already activated mobile apps for their learning management systems, or planned to do so within the academic year, were in the minority: 42 percent of private universities, 33 percent of public universities, 25 percent of private four-year colleges, 18 percent of public four-year colleges, and 12 percent of community colleges.

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