CEC Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


Cell Phones as Tools to Teach Computer Science

Event Location / Date(s)

Miami, FL / 2004

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Presentation Date


Conference Name / Publication Title

Second LACCEI International Latin American and Caribbean Conference for Engineering and Technology


In this paper we propose the use of cell phones and PDAs as teaching tools and target platforms for teaching undergraduate computer science. The advantages are numerous and compelling.

Cell phones and PDAs are less expensive than PCs. Many students may already have one. The devices support load-and-go course material that students can access anytime and anywhere, including short breaks. With network connectivity, students can use them to collaborate in groups. As a target platform for applications, students can show their work to friends and family, and can use the applications they create in their daily lives. Finally, with so much of our software being developed in far-away places, cell phones present unique economic opportunities for local content and micro-market applications, especially in developing countries.

In this paper we discuss the advantages and opportunities in greater detail, discuss development tools appropriate for students and instructors, and discuss some of the courses currently being taught on PDAs. We find many low or no cost tools available for programming with handhelds. We also find many schools that have started to use handhelds in their courses. Never-the-less, handhelds are still novelties that requires special instruction aside from the main material in the curriculum.

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