The mobility revolution isn't just bringing exciting new devices to the marketplaceâ€”it's also introducing a new mass-computing paradigm based on constant connectivity, on thin clients interacting with cloud-based resources, on lightweight apps that leverage the Internet but bypass the web, and on converged communications. Along with the new model comes a shift in the balance of IT power. Consumers seem willing to surrender a degree of control to vendors and carriers in return for simplicity and portability. At the same time, their choices shape an environment better suited to content interaction, location enrichment, and sociability. Commodity services also help them win independence from enterprise IT.
By making information access still more ubiquitous and convenient, the new model dilutes some of the advantages of traditional higher education at the same time it makes alternative learning models more attractive. It also offers the chance for enlivening campus communities and enhancing study and research. Symposium 2010 looked at how the new computing model changes learning, inquiry, and culture and explored the role of institutional IT in a world where consumers can increasingly immerse themselves in their own nonstop information environment.