Ubiquitous Learning

We have over-constrained the organization of “education,” but technology can help shift the current structures.

  • laptops (and similar mobile devices) can be and should be more “personalized”; in other words, they should function as interactive tutors/mentors with the learner;
  • personalization may be an important thematic key to this conversation: a recent study at Microsoft analyzed who was most successful (effective innovation, etc.) and one predictor was class size—smaller classes had provided more attention to the individual learner;
  • how can we provide more attention to the learner (without being a small liberal arts institution with small classes)?
  • leverage technology to foster increased individual attention and engagement;
  • teach faculty how to connect with their students; (most are willing, but most do not know how to intellectually and affectively engage with learners);
  • have central administration revalue and restructure faculty work so that research and teaching are not separate; bring them together;


Innovative technologies in academia should not necessarily focus on making things easier for students but rather on facilitating the learning process for students (the two concepts are not synonymous).

How do we teach students to choose when to use a technology for ease of use and when to choose not to use technology? Not all technology works the same ways in all disciplines. For example, when the infrastructure moves to the cloud, it can have a negative impact on what works well in music.  A latency as large as a 10 milliseconds with music is a lag that is unacceptable. Network jitter makes things worse by making this figure a moving target. And while “local caching” is an option, it also implies that the local client is not “thin” (as DSP processes are typically quite intense), rather it is a full-fledged workstation which in turn in many respects negates the need for a cloud. The delayed sound impacts the performance of music, or worse yet makes it impossible.

So, when visioning future technology how do we identify universal solutions knowing that “one size does not fit all”?




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