Many students would prefer to give up coffee, TV and eating out before their precious smartphones, according to a report called ‘Building the #GenMobile Campus’, from Aruba Networks. Nearly a fifth of these students (19%) spend more than five hours online daily, preferring Wi-Fi connections (73%) over any other such as 3G or 4G.
The study, which questioned nearly 1500 students across the globe including UAE and Saudi Arabia, the two biggest IT markets in the Middle East, showed that nearly two thirds (65%) of today’s students own three or more connected devices; spend over five hours a day on their mobiles, often use more than five apps at any one time; and are regularly rejecting traditional lecture-hall based learning for digital working across campus – whenever it works for them. About half even said they preferred to work ‘outside of normal school hours’, stating they worked more efficiently.
Even the lecture hall is going digital with 44% using mobile devices to take notes in lectures, while seven in ten (71%) are using these devices to access college emails.
Aruba Networks says universities today are realizing the advantages of using mobile technologies, for both students and lecturers, understanding that they allow for a diversification and evolvement in – often historic – teaching methods, which in turn offers flexibility to accommodate different styles of student learning.
“In any university or college, being connected and mobile is now an essential part of life – both for work and play. It’s a central behaviour of the generation we’re calling #GenMobile,” says Ammar Enaya, General Manager of Aruba Networks Middle East.
“However, all this new tech does have a knock on effect on the IT department and it’s really time for universities to prepare themselves for the #GenMobile Campus. The reality is IT pros in universities are under more pressure than ever to determine the best way to manage the security and reliability of all these devices entering the network and ensure that the bandwidth they’re enabling is up to speed, all while keeping costs down.”
To help IT pros in the Education sector, Aruba has developed some advice to universities on how to deal with this new generation of digitally native, super-connected student.
Preparing for the #GenMobile Campus. A campus that delivers:
- A network that says yes. Any device, any app, anytime, anywhere on campus. Students need the freedom to find their best working environment, and your network must be able to keep up.
- Space for work and play. From streaming lectures online to multiplayer gaming – the online experience is important. Whether for work or social reasons, connection speeds should be good enough to accommodate the connected student, not hinder them.
- Eyes and Ears. Students are the life force of any university or college. The campus should be built around them – and networks should follow. Observe and understand individual requirements, listen to feedback on how experiences could be improved, and accommodate them.
- Unique experiences – tailored content and services based on who the student is, where they are and what applications they are using.
Introducing the Aruba Mobility Academy
To prepare students for the latest mobility requirements, Aruba has launched the world’s first mobility-specific higher education programme, providing future IT leaders with the tools to support #GenMobile.
The new Aruba Mobility Academy provides students with the fundamentals required to build, maintain and advance wireless LAN networks, in unique, for credit semester-long courses that can be directly integrated into higher education programmes.
In the Middle East, it is currently available at Princess Sumaya University in Jordan. Aruba is in collaboration discussions with several other prestigious regional universities. The programme covers:
- How to setup and configure a wireless LAN
- The basics of wireless LAN solutions, including 802.11 Wi-Fi standards, network mobility architecture, and wireless LAN configuration
- Common Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) networking challenges.
For additional information on Aruba Mobility Academy, please email [email protected]
Survey results determined from a total of nearly 1,500 students of all ages, with research conducted in UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Nordics, United Kingdom, Spain, South Africa and the US.Click below to share this article