For all the potential benefits these mobile apps can provide to classrooms, Johnston acknowledges that it may be some time before professors can determine whether the technology has, in fact, made a positive difference.
"I don't think we've been able to measure whether it's improved student performance," he acknowledges. "I would say, though, that students have enjoyed having information all in one place. We can essentially gain the attention of a student when we use these compelling tools."
While the creation and development of mobile apps can be very expensive and time consuming for professors, Notre Dame's Visconsi says he believes mobile devices will have a strong influence in the future of education.
"We're at a very exciting moment in the transformation of higher ed," he says. "And I think the mobile app is going to become the dominant platform for the consumption of educational content."
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