There are several things I liked in Nancy Proctor’s presentation. First, I thought her emphasis on the experience and content of using mobile devices in a museum setting, instead of just concentrating on the technology was insightful. I think it can be easy to get wrapped up in the latest and greatest technology and as a result, lose sight of the purpose behind using the technological platform. The second topic that provoked me to think was Proctor’s emphasis on using mobile devices to facilitate conversation, instead of mere interpretation. I think mobile devices can be wildly successful at bringing people together and produce a truly wonderful collaborative product.
As far as the my group’s and my project, I think one of the advantages of using a mobile devices is, as Proctor mentioned, that it really can bring people from a variety of backgrounds together. Our project brings a face to a local farm through a mobile device and it caters to a “niche” of people in the Treasure Valley. One of the hardships I think that a mobile device brings to the project is that some farmers can be wary of its use in relation to their trade.
Like many of my classmates I think using mobile devices in classes is a good idea in theory. Like others mentioned, it can turn into a distraction rather than a learning tool. One thing I think BSU should look at (if they choose to push mobile device usage in classes) is there demographic. There is a sizable amount of non-traditional students and some (but certainly not all) might struggle with the application of mobile devices. I’ve encountered some who struggle with BroncoWeb or Blackboard, so if BSU did choose to push mobile devices they need to take the necessary precautions to make sure they educate all students on their usage. That being said I think the use of mobile devices in public history projects are fantastic, especially as Proctor pointed out, if they are targeted at niche topics people enjoy.