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The Ubiquitous Computing Technology In Education Information Technology Essay

The term of ubiquitous computing is proposed by late Mark Weiser (1952-1999) in 1991. Mark Weiser, who is considered to be the father of ubiquitous computing, he suggests the way in his famous article "The computer for 21 century" that how computing technology should be advance. He also said in same article "The most profound technologies are those that disappear". The main thing is that integrating computers smoothly in to people´s daily life and this concept will bring significant change to how people use computers. In the vision Weiser described, the future everyday life included in each room will use hundreds of computer systems and each one having a distinct function. But in an invisible way all of them are collaborating together to facilitate the users [1].

The history of ubiquitous computer applications in mathematics and science education has two major periods - the era prior to the dawn of the World Wide Web, and the current era beginning in 1995. There are three amplifying trends to introduce the web: the emergence of inexpensive technology in a portable package, accelerating improvement in communications capability and the invention of standard, easily-learned browsers that allowed users to explore a worldwide which is searchable knowledge resource [2].

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Weiser expressed ubicom like this:

"Most profound technologies are those that disappear. They wave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it" [1]

Presently there are mainly two ways involve in our everyday life in computing life. The first one is, when we move to different place and people that time computers are carried along with us. The second one is that, when we move to environment then computing devices are encountered in environments. In the second ways mentioned about environment, that type of device help us to execute such activities. For example: a modern conference room is fitted with like a multimedia projector, a big display boards, auto sensing lights, video cameras, microphone, network computers and as well as the computers we carry along with us. If we imagine like that type of environment that when we enter them it will sense automatically our personal setting and behave accordingly and invisible, it would definitely allow users to keep more attention on that task [1].

1.2 Introduction to Ubiquitous Computing

In Oxford English dictionary the word "Ubiquitous" is defined as "seemingly present everywhere". That means ubiquitous computing is computing seemingly everywhere. From Mark Weiser definition of ubiquitous computing is a method and it's not only enhance computer use by making many computers available throughout the physical environment but also making them effectively invisible to the user [1].

Now a day, new technologies have brought many changes in the teaching and learning in classroom. The integrating technology we can use in our traditional classroom that can be use face-to face classroom communication to teaching and learning experience. Ubiquitous computing integrates technology into the environment give the opportunity to users to use it any place and anytime without any restriction. Users are bonded to a computer in a specific place and it differs from previous traditional systems. In the application domain of education, ubiquitous computing technology provides significant advantage. For example: domain can offer continuous access to wide range of software or continuously search the internet to all students of any campus as well as teacher. The main goal of this technology is that, how all students and teachers are can access to technology equally and efficiently. And after that we have to must consider that their economical state, more student engagement with their lesson access and also students needs [4].

Based on existing knowledge and experience about ubicom field I will try to cover the subject of ubiquitous computing in education especially it applies to teaching and learning. In the learning process both teachers and students will participate. I will try to make a guideline different important issue and feature of this technology, how to connect to with this environment, describe different devices and how to access those devices because, all educational activities are based on them [3].

The Characters of Ubiquitous Computing

In education field UbiCom technology provides different characteristics and these characteristics are most important in learning. An educational policy based on the following characteristics [5]:

Ubiquitous information access: Student can access their document and various information and they can use a variety of ways into a same information world in anytime, anywhere.

Embedded: Computing and communications capability exists in the world; Students can feel it and act on it. That means, students are able to interact with their teachers with an embedded system. And students can search and they can pose his/her question to a specific domain experts after that combine the different answers most effectively.

Nomadic: Students and the computing can free movement on demand.

Adaptive: Computing and communications service provide adequate flexibility and autonomy according to the students requirement and operating conditions. That means, student can get his/her right information within right time and place.

Timeless and place immediacy: This feature will provide time and place where student can access from any place and there is no time limit. And System in operation does not require re-start; components may need to transfer or fault or upgrade, but the whole system can be used forever.

Factors to use UbiCom Technology

Both teacher and student must be skilled about this field and they have to know how to create a learning environment for use UbiCom technology. And they have to consider that factors [5]:

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Shared vision: It will provide the commitment this technology is systematic and continuous. And it also provides an administrative support and continuous processing service for controlling a situation by causing something to happen.

Access: It is a most important factor because teachers must have limitless access to current technology, different types of software and also telecommunication networks.

Skilled educators: The educators must have to skilled and also familiar about this technology because he or she will instruct to the student. Educators have to know how to use and how to use in the teaching procedure then it will be more efficient learning procedure.

Technical assistance: For using and maintaining this technology both teachers and student must have limitless access. And the need a technical support helpdesk who will provides their needs.

Content standards and curriculum resources: Teacher must have knowledge and must have understanding capability about this technology with standard contain and standard resources.

Assessment: There must have a continuous assessment, like their problem solving and program progress of course. And it can be recorded or encountered in the programs.

Ubiquitous Connection

When computers have started to use in education environment that time was faced lot of challenge like what will be the form of space for electrical cords, what peripheral will be use and other web. In those situations sometimes it was difficult to find room to connect and that time they felt like intruders. In recent years, it uses different network devices with restriction and also flexibility [6].

The main goal of UbiCom technology in education field is that how to use a computer for students and teacher with a more flexible way. That means, we need to connect our all device efficiently where students and teacher can inter connect flexible way. For this environment, wireless communication will be better and students can access from anywhere in their campus. Wireless communication will be faster and student can access from their library or cafeteria, from their class room, or outside of class room [5].

Wireless technology provides lot of advantage, it mentioned in the following [6]:

Students can easily move anywhere because the can use their laptops. Laptop allow for easy movement within a classroom or across their campus.

Their laptop can fit any place in to the class with a very little space and they can sit down any place in a class.

Wireless laptop computer can use more flexibility way like: support a lesson and participation of all teachers regardless of style and preference.

Wireless computer don't need to connect any cable or wires or any cords where desktop computer takes lots of space for those connect. And wireless computer create any confusion or disorder to a class room.

Wireless computers screen are low down, that's why teacher can walk in the room and teacher can easily see that their working with their laptop computers.

Wireless computers are easy to use and it feels comfortable to use. The wireless laptops made the teacher's job easier like made making slide, lecture presentation and to visit a class room.

Time is the important things for teacher. Using wireless technology it can upload something within a second.

In fig-1 shows a wireless network example scenario. From this scenario, we saw that all devices are connected with wireless router and they can access to all the network resources. This figure shown for a class room but wireless network offers to the network at a high rate and at any time or any place.

Fig-1: A wireless network example [7]

Fig-2 shows some portable device, which can be access for wireless and from a small screen device.

Fig-2: Portable devices [8]

The most important thing is that software compatibility of those devices. Because student will work in a group they will send and receive files or more programs will open. Their devices must be compatible in order to facilitate the communication between them. Otherwise, it will be create a significant problem [5].

InitiativesUbiquitous computing technology

The development of the World Wide Web amplified the utility of one-to-one computing by providing students and teachers immediate access to vast information resources.

3.1 eFusion

3.2 University of Texas

3.3 WIL/MA Toolkit

3.4 FirstClass

Disadvantage of Ubiquitous computing technology


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