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March 6, 2013 / NextStepU

Not Just For Students Anymore: Mobile Access to Advising Tools

While it may be true that over half of the student population has viewed a school’s website on a mobile device, the percentage of student affairs workers who have done so is likely nowhere close.  On the surface, there is no reason — advisors and counselors have desks with computers and comfy chairs, surely their familiarity with their work on their desk laptops should translate to their mobile devices. And if it did, wouldn’t this lead to a much greater interaction between advisors and students?

Non-profit higher education is slowly moving toward making its information accessible online on the small screen (there are numerous efforts to ramp up online presences and to personalize them, some of which you can check out on this informative Mobile Learning board from Learnist), but the effort is still only going one way; it assumes that advisors are still the ones sitting at desks with computers, tweeting and linking and e-mailing in between face-to-face appointments.  In the current thinking, the advisor is the physical center of a now-largely-electronic web, a web the institution dearly hopes will catch students.

What is under-explored are the ramifications of making the tools advisors use available on mobile platforms.  Space is at a premium on many campuses, and the allocation of it is an enormous jigsaw puzzle, with the pieces reshuffled on the occasions that the school can afford new construction.  It is not always that the number of rooms or amount of square footage is insufficient for advisers to properly interact with students, sometimes students just don’t know where their advisors are!  Residence hall advising (or using a satellite office) is an option on certain campuses — ones with significant resident populations, of course — but the growth of non-traditional student populations only increases the number of students who commute from off-campus.

What if climbing the stairs of an ivy-covered building to meet with an advisor were only one of many ways a student could meet face-to-face with an advisor?  What if it were the minority of an advisor’s contact with her advisees? To explore more into the world of mobile learning visit the Mobile Learning Resources and Tools on Learnist for a vast collection of mobile learning resources to transform classroom practices. Topics include iPad technologies, eReaders, Mobile Learning Devices, Classroom Best Practices and Student Learning Outcomes.

From Learnist: organizing all of the wisdom of mankind in text, images, video and audio, curated by fellow humans. Follow on Twitter and Facebook to discover the future of learning. 

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