Today’s students are more connected via mobile devices than ever before. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 78% of teens have a cell phone, and nearly half of those teens own smartphones. College students on average own 7 different devices, with a laptop and smartphone topping the list. Smart devices are capable of more than just providing students with ubiquitous connectivity. They are able to provide controls, which can align more than ever, the student, institutions, government and business. A recent blog post by Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., helps you imagine the future of education by showing that you can separate out device use scenarios that are directly related to making educational gains, as opposed to other scenarios. This is where the multi-persona magic happens, and new alignment is achieved.
In their student persona, with their favorite device, students can gain access to the proper educational resources. It could be internet connectivity, which may be provided or subsidized, or educational materials, which may have copyright restrictions. The separation in personas also allows for the ability to isolate learning materials from others, in order to limit distractions to students, providing an economy of thought. When using this strategy a mobile device is an excellent vehicle for the delivery of educational resources and learning.
With the separation of the student persona, governments, and institutions, can rest assured that subsidies and investments in education are not exploited. On the contrary, they are leveraged for the sole purpose of learning, paying for the student persona use and nothing else on the device.
Business is confident that content and materials are not misused, and are utilized only for learning, avoiding the situation where other business channels are cannibalized. For example, a legal content provider can be sure that content is geo-fenced and can be consumed only when the student is within the university walls, similar to visiting the library, and not when the student is completing work for their internship in a law firm, where the legal content provider depends on premium subscription revenue.
A multi-persona strategy enables educational institutions, government, and business, to target spending on education in a granular way. Being able to decide what content is provided, where that content is used, and for what purpose, reduces risk and aligns for success in delivering on education in the age of mobility.