Our discussion in class led us to the possibilities of using mobile Web Sites for educational purposes. Almost at once, the general consensus of the class (including me) began focusing on the limitations of some the technologies and the fragmentation that developers must overcome in order for these types of sites to be successful. Then Dr. Yuen, very wisely, stated that we were missing the point. We were not talking about applications (Android, Blackberry, iPhone, etc.) but we were talking about your plain-Jane mobile sites. These are compatibile with the newest of new phones and some of the very first motorola RAZR phones. All that learners need is to be able to connect to the internet using their mobile device.
Dr. Yuen also warned us not to immediately assume that mobile sites were going to replace traditional Web sites for learning and teaching, but add to their effectiveness. This was a “light-bulb” idea for me. All the commercials say you must have this technology or you’re going to be left behind, but no one is talking about using both. Why not? Design your course site or your training site around a PC based web hub and specifically put links and information available on a mobile site that people will need… “wait for it..” when they’re mobile.
Your mobile site should be lean, mean, and to the point. Only put information and links there that people will need when they’re on the go. Quick contact information, maps, quick Q&A documents, abbreviated instructions, etc. Your mobile site should load fast, be concise, clean, and clear. It can be an extremely effective way of continuing the connection between you and your students wherever they are.