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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mobile devices have capabilities that computers don’t – how can you use them to your advantage?

With ever-increasing “anytime, anywhere” uses of mobile devices, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) released a report on Thursday charging schools to build mobile into their content and application strategies.

CoSN’s spring 2014 EdTechNext Report titled Small Screens, Big Plans explains that the mobile shift in U.S. communities should require school districts to move their focus from just adopting mobile technology programs to the impact mobile has on delivering information and services.

CoSN Chief Executive Officer Keith Krueger said this resource gives school leaders step-by-step guidance on how to address the growing mobile impact so stakeholders at both the classroom and school levels are informed and involved.

“Since the advent of mobile technology, school leaders and educators have devoted their attention to BYOD programs, bandwidth and instructional apps,” he said. “While these efforts are encouraging and necessary, parents and others in the community want to access information ‘on-the-go’ at all times – a transition for which district leaders must plan.”

For districts or school systems to build a mobile content strategy, the report outlines six steps that comprise both information and application content:

• Evaluate where your district is and with whom it works – compile an inventory of existing systems, people, skills sets, and content as well as evaluate their mobile readiness.

• Prioritize what is most important – what information should be made mobile and on which devices / app platforms.

• Act on tactical solutions for the short-term and plan for long-term mobility needs.

• Communicate the designed strategy to key stakeholders and actively promote the application.

• Monitor, measure, and guide your mobile strategy using analytics, surveys, audience profiles and usability testing.

• Support, maintain, and adjust to changing needs, trends and technologies, including the frequency that content will require updates.

According to the report, these steps explain how district and school mobile apps are becoming essential communication drivers with parents and students for activities and events, news and announcements, school calendars and directories, among other useful information. In addition, “Small Screens, Big Plans” shares how districts and schools have successfully become mobile-based, including tailoring curriculum with mobile web and app development courses.

CoSN’s EdTechNext Reports are made possible by Amplify, Blackboard, CDW-G, Google, HP, iBoss Network Security, Identity Automation, Lenovo, Lightspeed Systems, Microsoft, Pearson, Pearson Foundation, Qualcomm, SchoolDude and Sprint. They are published quarterly and discuss the hottest trends in educational technology.