Abu Dhabi University implements mobile learning
Students will be able to access coursework and updates via mobile phones
The Abu Dhabi University (ADU) has pioneered a mobile education system, powered by Etisalat and in collaboration with Blackboard Inc to take learning outside the classroom, according to WAM.
From this week, a pilot project of three classes and 75 students on the Abu Dhabi campus will be provided with the latest BlackBerry smartphones by BlackBerry UAE and 40 free data packages of 5GB from Etisalat, with full access to the Blackboard Mobile application.
"At Etisalat we believe that mobile technology can be harnessed for sociological and economic development of the country and Etisalat is proud to lead this initiative through innovative applications. Our association with Blackboard Inc and Abu Dhabi University will empower their students to leverage the untapped potential of mobile education. This application will not only provide a new medium of education, but will also enable enhanced mobility and flexibility in learning for both students and the faculty," said Abdulla Hashim, senior vice president, Business Solutions at Etisalat.
The students will also have mobile access to all course materials and topic updates whenever they need.
The technology is designed to increase the level of communication and engagement between professors and students to help ensure a timely flow of information and class lectures.
"We are currently in a mobile generation where everyone is expected to be in contact anytime, anywhere. By implementing Blackboard Mobile, we can take advantage of this mobile culture by significantly increasing and enabling students and teachers to gain instant access to their courses and content materials using their handheld devices," said Dr James Mackin, provost, Abu Dhabi University.
"This will negate students' need to have access to a computer allowing our faculty to develop more innovative teaching techniques and will give our students the opportunity to be engaged in learning processes regardless of physical location," he added.
Following the pilot trial, Blackboard Mobile will be implemented across the whole of Abu Dhabi University on the campus' in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain for both faculty and students at the start of the September semester.
"This pilot study will not only be the first study on the impact of Mobile Blackboard on learning in the GCC, it will be one of the few controlled studies on the direct impact of an educational technology on student learning. We expect this information will be shared to all the universities across the GCC and MENA regions that are considering implementing this new and exciting technology," said Dr Mackin.