University Business - April 2011 - (Page 57)

INTERNET TECHNOLOGY The State of the Mobile Web in Higher Ed Mobile solutions and strategies—and the budgets behind them By Karine Joly I S 2011 GOING TO BE THE “Year of the Mobile Web” for higher education? A few studies have already hinted it. According to a white paper published by e Nielsen Company in December 2010, “Mobile Youth Around the World,” 48 percent of the 15- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. now browse the web on their mobile devices—even though only 33 percent own smartphones. e Pew Internet and American Life Project concurred in its own report, “Mobile Access 2010,” released in July 2010. Conducted by phone in May 2010, the survey found that 65 percent of responding 18- to 29-year-olds accessed the web on their phone and, in most cases, on a daily basis. Need more proof that these mobile web users walk, talk, and text on your campus? e 2010 ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology can provide confirmation. While 62 percent of the 30,616 students surveyed in 2010 for this study own a mobile device, 33 percent used it to access the internet a year ago. With this critical mass of mobile web users being reached, more decision-makers and practitioners in universities and colleges are warming up to the mobile web. ey have begun recognizing the need to better serve students and other constituents through their mobile devices. Blog posts, white papers, articles, and vendor-sponsored webinars on the topic have multiplied over the past year, confirming that the market has matured enough to grow beyond the few early adopters in higher education. As they did Mobile web solutions are not just smaller versions of current online offerings, but tools to enhance life on the go. three years ago for social media, vendors offering mobile web solutions or devicespecific applications have also started to show up on the higher education web conference circuit. In late January 2011, e Chronicle of Higher Education even published an article trying to paint a picture of the state of the mobile web in higher education. Written by Josh Keller, the piece, “As the Web Goes Mobile, Colleges Fail to Keep Up,” could well have provided the extra push to make more college and university administrators jump on the mobile web bandwagon. My own online survey about the mobile web in higher education was completed by 230 professionals working mainly in the marketing, communication, and web offices of 199 different institutions. Its goal was to draw a more accurate picture of existing and planned institutional efforts targeted to mobile users. e sur- vey was open to professionals working in universities or colleges from January 31 to February 14, 2011. It was publicized online through several channels (e-mail listservs, e-mail newsletters, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other professional networking websites). As a consequence, it doesn’t rely on a scientifically determined dataset. However, the resulting sample seems fairly representative to the Carnegie Classifications breakdown with a slight skew toward larger institutions. It’s also fair to assume that trend watchers and technology-minded people were more likely to take the survey. But, it’s important to note that professionals were invited to take this survey whether or not they had a mobile web solution in place on their campus, so the results would not over-represent early adopters. e fi ndings indicate that the time is right for the mobile web in higher education. Only 38 percent of the surveyed institutions provide a solution (mobile website, accessible website, native mobile device applications, etc.) targeting and serving owners of mobile devices. But, the large majority (91 percent) of the remaining solution-less institutions has already planned to roll out a mobile solution. In 69 percent of the cases, the mobile web solution is expected to be implemented within a year. Interestingly, 68 percent of the early adopters launched their Karine Joly is the web editor behind www, a blog about higher ed web marketing, public relations, and technologies. She is also the founder of the professional development online community at April 2011 | 57

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - April 2011

University Business - April 2011
Editor’s Note
College Index
Company Index
Advisory Board
Behind the News
Sense of Place
Financial Aid
Models of Efficiency
Shrinking the Desktop
All Things Transfer
Sudden Impact
Internet Technology
What’s New
End Note

University Business - April 2011