Scholarly article on topic 'New Possibilities of Mobile ICT in Education at Low Operating Costs'

New Possibilities of Mobile ICT in Education at Low Operating Costs Academic research paper on "Media and communications"

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Abstract of research paper on Media and communications, author of scientific article — Jiří Kysela, Pavla Štorková

Abstract This article deals with new possibilities of teaching course which is focused on new media. The course will be partly realized during teaching outdoors, therefore it will be necessary to ensure the mobility of users were using of modern ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). For teaching and using new media is necessary to ensure mobile devices (tablet, smartphone, etc.) and mobile internet. Mobile internet is required for connection with main new media. The actual problem is big costs of mobile internet for a lot of students. Authors vision is to provide mobile internet for more mobile devices at very low operating costs which will not encumber the budget of the university. The suitable solution is to use so- called tethering, which is a method of sharing a single mobile internet connection usually within local wireless network for more students. The benefit of this paper is innovation through the reduction of operating costs for teaching outdoor the course while maintaining the mobility, and the use of mobile ICT when working with new media in education.

Academic research paper on topic "New Possibilities of Mobile ICT in Education at Low Operating Costs"

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 106 (2013) 1935 - 1943

4th International Conference on New Horizons in Education

possibilities of mobile ICT in education at low operating

Jin Kyselaa*, Pavla Storkovab

aUniversity University of Pardubice, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, 532 10 Pardubice, Czech republic University of Pardubice, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, 532 10 Pardubice, Czech republic

Abstract

This article deals with new possibilities of teaching course which is focused on new media. The course will be partly realized during teaching outdoors, therefore it will be necessary to ensure the mobility of users were using of modern ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). For teaching and using new media is necessary to ensure mobile devices (tablet, smartphone, etc.) and mobile internet. Mobile internet is required for connection with main new media. The actual problem is big costs of mobile internet for a lot of students. Authors vision is to provide mobile internet for more mobile devices at very low operating costs which will not encumber the budget of the university. The suitable solution is to use so-called tethering, which is a method of sharing a single mobile internet connection usually within local wireless network for more students. The benefit of this paper is innovation through the reduction of operating costs for teaching outdoor the course while maintaining the mobility, and the use of mobile ICT when working with new media in education.

©2013TheAuthors.PublishedbyElsevierLtd.

Selectionandpeer-reviewunderresponsibilityofTheAssociationofScience,EducationandTechnology-TASET,SakaryaUniversitesi, Turkey.

Keywords: tethering; new media, education; mobile devices; ICT; mobile internet

1. Introduction to new media and mobile communication

Statistical data about today's state of the internet connection access according to source (Accenture, 2012) shows that 69 percents of users around the world uses mobile internet. According to source (ITU, 2013) the development between 2007-2013 clearly shows that it is a long-term trend with permanent significantly growing character. The ability of mobility is therefore crucial and still more and more required of modern internet connection. ICT courses within education organizations should reflected on this fact and provide conditions for students to enable them to learn how to use ICT which comply with the trend of mobility. This goal is pursued by

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +420 466 037 095. E-mail address: jiri.kysela@upce.cz

1877-0428 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of The Association of Science, Education and Technology-TASET, Sakarya Universitesi, Turkey. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.12.220

a new course at the University of Pardubice (Czech Republic) - Introduction to new media and communication. Apart from this the course aims to introduce students to the area of new media that are connected with mobile ICT so that using mobile ICT was not as end in itself. In order to put theory into practice part of the course will be held outdoors. Means of ICT chosen for the course are mobile devices (tablet and smartphone) and also mobile internet using mobile and wireless data technologies.

The main aim of this article is to provide description of possibilities of teaching mobile ICT and maintaining low costs at the same time with regard to scarce sources in academic field. To achieve the goal it is necessary to solve the problem of very high costs of mobile internet connections for large amount of students that attend the course. Authors of this article aim to provide internet for mobile devices for all students that attend the course and maintain low operational costs so that the university's budget will not be encumbered. A possible solution examinated by authors of this article could be using a so-called tethering, a method of sharing mobile internet connection through WiFi network for students of the course. The benefit in this case would be an innovation through low operational costs while lecturing the course outdoors and maintaining the mobility of the Internet connection when using mobile ICT to learn about new media.

1.1. New media

Nowadays Media and communication greatly influence both social and professional life and belong to the dynamically developing field that affects many sectors (Jirak & Kopplova, 2003). The course Introduction to New Media and Communication responds to this trend and offers students information on how present media works, what kind of means they use and how they affect the society. The aim of this course is to present students the new media, methods and communication trends with use of current information and communication technologies, which will be subsequently used in practice, for which the University is preparing. New media is one of the frequently cited term today, however, fixed definition of this term does not currently exist. New media are understood at several levels then. In general, new media can be characterized as follows (Pavlicek, 2010):

• promote communication or feedback,

• are based on the digital platform,

• are interactive,

• useofcomputingpower.

The course Introduction to New Media and Communication presents students definitions, history and significance of current new media and mass media and explain what role ICT represents in their support. New media influence communication at all levels and thus have a significant impact on society and market. The current society is in the network age (Pokorny, 2002) in which Internet has become a phenomenon that is accompanied by a trend of mobility in this time.

All students (of University of Pardubice) from last year of information and communication technologies master's program were asked the questions in the questionnaire and based on their answers authors found out, that despite the globalization of the media, these students have no clear awareness about the term New media and only some of them worked with the mobile devices using new media (The questionnaire results: Only 45% of students correctly oriented in the definition of new media and only 24% worked with mobile tablet devices. 82% of students worked with smartphones. However, 98% of students used social or geo-social networks and 73% of them worked with mobile internet.).

The course Introduction to New media and Communication enable them to complete these deficiencies and prepare them to practice in which they these devices and new media will meet.

1.2. Required technologic base for tethering

Technological base used for education purposes should reflect trends of today's means of ICT used in practice. The ability of mobility and wireless communication constitute a potential for the future of mobile ICT. Following technologies were specified as necessary for the needs ofthe course:

• Mobile multipurpose devices.

• Location and positioning technologies GPS, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Electronic compass or QR-codes.

• Wireless data technologies WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC.

• Mobile data technologies ofgeneration 3G (CDMA, UMTS, HSUPA/HSDPA).

1.2.1. Mobile devices

The market of mobile devices has been very dynamic in recent years (see Fig. 1) which is why only those ICT devices should by chosen that fulfills the ability of mobility and are sufficiently spread and have growing trend of sales in the market of last years. Figure 1 shows that these requirements are satisfied by tablets and that is only why they were purchased for the lector and students of the course. The market of mobile operating systems is very heterogeneous these days and therefore only devices with operating systems with growing trend (see Fig. 2) in the market should be chosen when contemplating a suitable platform for education. Efficient support through available applications and therefore a potential for the future should also be taken into consideration. Mobile operating systems Android and Windows rank among devices with these characteristics. These operating systems are the only that have a growing curve in the market and for which there are also important online shops for mobile applications (Google Play a Microsoft Store). On the basis of these requirements a tablet with both of these operating systems (in their actual versions Android 4 and Windows 8) were purchased.

Global PC (Desktop / Notebook) and Tablet Shipments by Quarter

Ql:95 - Q1:13

O) CL a. !e to (ft

Q1:95 Q1:97 Q1:99 Q1:01 Q1:03 Q1:05 Q1:07 Q1 :09 Q1:11 Q1:13 -Desktop PCs -Notebook PCs -Tablets

Note: Notebook PCs delude Nelboofcs Source: Katy Hubeny. Ehud Gelblum. Morgan Stanley Research. Gartner. Pata as of 4/13.

Fig. 1: Desktop/Notebook/Tablet Shipmentsby QuarterQl:1995-Ql:2013 (Meeker& Wu, 2013)

Stateouliter Global Stats

Top S Mobile Operating Systems in Czech Republic From Mar 2011 to June 2013

Fig. 2: Global Statistics ofMobile Operating Systems in Czech Republic (StatCounter, 2013)

1.2.2. Mobile connection and tethering (mobile internet, tethering)

Mobile connection for the needs of the course is provided by mobile and wireless data technologies. These two technologies differ in the ability of mobility (e. g WiFi technology is usually used as stationary). Tethering is a method that enables sharing mobile connection to the Internet within network of several devices (see Fig. 3). In the case ofthis course it is considered to share a mobile 3G connection via hotspot based on WiFi or Bluetooth technology. Each one of these technologies (according to its specification) offers a different transmission speed. In order to put these technologies in compliance it is necessary to level out their parameters of maximal transmission speed. Table 1 shows that the throughput of WiFi 802.11b technology is sufficient for speed limits of mobile data technology UMTS. WiFi 802.llg technology at least should be used in order to prevent the degradation of the HSPA technology's transmission speed and WiFi 802. lln should be ideally used for the LTE technology. There are several ways ofarranging tethering:

• Tethering natively supported by mobile operating system (supported by Android 4 but not by Windows 8. It is expected to be supported since Windows 8.1).

• Tethering run by a third side's software (e. g. Connectify in the case of Windows).

Table 1: Parameters of mobile and wireless data technologies (Kysela, 2012).

Technology Downlink speed Uplink speed

3G - UMTS 2 mbps 2 mbps

3G-HSPA 42 mbps 7.2 mbps

3G - LTE 100 mbps 50 mbps

WiFi-802.11b 11 mbps 11 mbps

WiFi-802.11g 54 mbps 54 mbps

WiFi-802.lln 150 mbps 150 mbps

Bluetooth 1.2 721 kbps 721 kbps

Bluetooth 2.0 3 mbps 3 mbps

Bluetooth 3.0 24 mbps 24 mbps

Bluetooth 4.0 24 mbps 24 mbps

Fig. 3: Sharing of mobile internet connection by method of tethering via WiFi

2. Teaching new media outdoors

The course Introduction to New Media and Communication apart from lectures also contains tutorials in which students will work with new mobile devices and other ICT means in practice, both indoors and outdoors. New media are increasingly connected with mobility and therefore mobile devices such as tablet or smartphone on different platforms (Windows, Android, iOS, Symbian, BlackBerry OS, etc.) are used.

Within the course mobile devices like tablet with widespread platforms in their current versions of Android 4 and Windows 8 are available. During tutorials students get to know the funcionality of multipurpose mobile devices, with their characteristics and usability for new media and modern mobile and wireless communication. They learn specifics of technologies (location and positioning, wireless and mobile data) supported in current

mobile devices which students can use in their future practice. Lecturer further explains usability of mobile data technology infrastructure and the possibility of sharing a mobile Internet connection via tethering method by creating of own mobile WiFi hotspot outdoors. These tutorials demonstrate use of multipurpose mobile devices and mobile or wireless data technologies to access the Internet for work with mobile applications of new media. Tutorials allow students practical use of technologies supported in multipurpose mobile devices. Based on these technologies students can use mobile applications ofnew media:

• Wiki systems.

• Social networks.

• Photo and video sharing.

• Mobile applications oflocation based services (geosocial networks, navigation and maps with additional local information, augmented reality etc.).

2.1. New possibilities of mobile ICT in education at low operating costs

Tutorials held outdoors demonstrate students the possibilities of mobile internet and its subsequent use. Selected tethering is used as a method of sharing one connection to a mobile Internet for more mobile devices via WiFi or Bluetooth technology with the advantage of reduced costs. WiFi technology usually works as a stationary. Tethering, running on mobile device with sharing of the mobile connection via WiFi hotspot, adds WiFi a characteristic that the mobility at this technology is ensured.

For using of the mobile internet in teaching outdoors it was necessary to choose between the available offers of mobile connection providers. Seven mobile or virtual operators exist in the Czech Republic in June 2013, who offer these services (virtual operators don't have own mobile network infrastructure, but they rent it from mobile operators). Considering that one tutorial has 20 students, it was necessary to choose such a service that can provide required parameters ofa mobile connection. The authors have defined parameter values as follows:

• Mobile data technologies coverage at required teritory.

• Mobile data technologies, at least third generation (3G).

• FUP (Fair User Policy limits data traffic ofinternet connection) higher than 80 MB/day.

• Lowest possible price.

• Mobile services without subscription.

For use oftethering between more users the tariff with FUP of at least 10 GB per month would correspond the most. At all providers in the Czech Republic the FUP is mediated with a subscription for at least one year and minimally monthly costs € 19.36. Then it would cost the University at least € 232.32 per year per person.

Given that the course lasts one semester per year it is not necessary to use annual tariff and it is sufficient to get a prepaid service without subscription. Mobile and virtual operators offer various possibilities of mobile internet with different level of FUP and price. There are three official virtual mobile operators on the prepaid service market now: MOBIL.CZ, Bleskmobil and Tesco Mobile and also three major mobile operators Telefonica 02, T-Mobile and Vodafone. The mobile operator U:fon offers a mobile internet only through mobile data technology CDMA, for which no compatible devices are available within this course. All operators met the first two conditions, namely coverage with mobile data technologies in the desired teritory (Pardubice city) and availability ofmobile data technology at least third generation (3G) in required teritory (see fig. 4, 5, 6).

After all offers had been evaluated, the best offer from the company Telefonica 02 was chosen. This company offers mobile internet for three months for the price of € 38.76 per connection with the option of using 3 GB of data per month with limited FUP 100 MB/day (see Table 2). This ensures that students can not exhaust data limit during one tutorial other students, who have tutorials in other days. The course Introduction to new media and communication includes in fact one lecture and 3-4 tutorials during a week. Company Vodafone provides an

interesting offer as well. It offers FUP 500 MB for two days for the price of € 2.93. This offer would be only suitable while short-term mobile internet use (e.g. a week to a month). Other operators have not offered mobile internet in the required parameters yet.

The University will save not only for annual tariffpackage, which would be activated throughout the year, but mainly for another twenty connections for students, which will be saved by mentioned tethering due to mobile internet sharing via WiFi technology. In total the University will save up twenty times the amount due to the method oftethering, which is € 775.20 per semester.

Fig. 4: The detail maps of coverage of mobile internet in Pardubice (Czech Republic). Source: www.o2.cz

Fig. 5: The detail maps of coverage of mobile internet in Pardubice (Czech Republic). Source: www.t-mobile.cz

Fig. 6: The detail maps of coverage of mobile internet in Pardubice (Czech Republic). Source: www.vodafone.cz

Table 2.: Comparison of prepaid services without subscription, www.o2.cz,www.vodafone.cz,www.t-mobile.cz, www.bleskmobil.cz,www.mobil.cz,www.ufon.cz,www.tescomobile.cz. Access date 06.06.2013. Actual exchange rate ofEuro - 25,775 Czech crowns: validy for 06.06.2013. Source: www.cnb.cz

Mobile operation Mobile conncetion for one day Mobile conncetion for two day Mobile conncetion for one week Mobile conncetion for one month

02 100 MB-0,43 € (subscription for 3 months - 38,76 €) 100 MB - 0,93 € (v subscription for 1 month -27,12 6) 37,50 MB - 1,94 €, 250 MB - 3,49 € 3 GB - 12,92 € (subscription for 3 months - 38,76 €) 3 GB -27,12 6

T-mobile 25 MB - 0,93 € - 40 MB-1,51 € -

Vodafone 25 MB - 0,98 € 500 MB - 2,93 € 60MB - 1,91 € -

MOBIL.CZ - - - 200 MB - 27,76 €

Bleskmobil 50 MB - 0,78 € - - -

Tesco mobile 50 MB - 0,78 € - - -

U:fon - - - --

3. Conclusion

The main aim of this article was to describe the possibility of teaching mobile ICT on university with maintaining low costs at the same time with regard to scarce sources in academic field. To achieve the goal it was necessary to solve the problem of actual very high costs of mobile internet connections for large amount of students that attend the course. Authors of this article aim to provide internet for mobile devices for all students that attend the course and maintain low operational costs so that the university's budget won't be encumbered. A possible solution examinated by authors of this article was using tethering. This innovative solution has brought a significant reduction in operating costs during outdoor training of course while maintaining mobility and required quality of internet connection for all students in the course. Reducing operating costs of University thanks to the use of tethering method was in the case of tutorial course with 20 students, a total oftwenty times, making a total savings of€ 775.20 per semester.

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