Mobile applications may be the future of higher education

At many schools, students are able to use their smartphone to access course information.
At many schools, students are able to use their smartphone to access course information.

According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, in the fall of 2009, about 5.6 million students across the country were enrolled in at least one online class. Between 2009 and 2010, this number increased by 21 percent, compared to a 2 percent rise in overall higher education enrollment.

As more students turn to technology to earn a college degree, many schools are looking for innovative ways to give students access to academic material.

USA Today reports that some institutions of higher education are in the process of developing mobile applications, or apps, that will allow students to view course content from remote locations using their smartphones. Using these products, students are able to access assignments, grades, threads and discussions.

For example, Western Governors University, an intuition of online education, is currently working to create educational apps, while officials from Golden Gate University anticipate the launch of mobile applications in the fall 2011 semester. Additionally, the University of Phoenix began offering these tools to students last month, according to the news outlet.

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