today technology

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Project Budget
$250 - $750 USD
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Project Description

As mobile devices become more commonplace, the
number of students using mobile devices continues to
grow. In 2010, the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied
Research (ECAR) Study of Undergraduate Students
and Information Technology found that 48.8% of
undergraduates own a mobile device and access the
Internet with it, up from 33.1% in 2009 [1]. With more
students using Internet-enabled mobile devices, academic libraries have begun offering mobile access to
their catalogs, resources, and other services [2, 3]. Not
all academic libraries offer such services, and those
that do vary considerably in the scope and depth of
the resources and services they offer on their mobile
sites [3, 4]. A study by Canuel and Crichton of library
mobile sites at academic institutions in Canada ‘‘has
revealed steady growth of [mobile] sites’’ and stresses
the importance of mobile sites to the services
provided by academic libraries [4].
Compared to other academic disciplines, medicine
has been an early adopter in the use of mobile devices,
and that trend continues today, with medical libraries
providing more mobile resources, services, and
support than libraries in other disciplines [5–7].
Recent studies have examined the usage of mobile
resources by medical students. One survey found that
medical residents liked using their Internet-enabled
mobile devices to access information at the bedside
[8]. Another survey showed that medical students
used personal digital assistants (PDAs) to access
point-of-care tools, though the survey did not
investigate Internet-enabled devices like the iPhone
[9]. Despite the wide use of mobile devices and the
perceived comfort with technology, medical students
have diverse abilities and knowledge when it comes
to using technology [10]. This can create challenges
for the librarians who provide support to these
students. Additionally, each licensed point-of-care
tool has different and often complex instructions on
how to access the web page or application. The lack of
reliable wireless Internet access for physicians and
students in hospitals also complicates access to point of-care tools on mobile devices. The popularity of
mobile devices among medical students combined
with the technical challenges facing the use of these
devices and resources informed the development of
this project.

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