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What Is Ubiquitous Computing?



The word "ubiquitous" can be defined as "existing or being everywhere at the same time," "constantly encountered," and "widespread." When applying this concept to technology, the term ubiquitous implies that technology is everywhere and we use it all the time.

Because of the pervasiveness of these technologies, we tend to use them without thinking about the tool. Instead, we focus on the task at hand, making the technology effectively invisible to the user.

Ubiquitous technology is often wireless, mobile, and networked, making its users more connected to the world around them and the people in it.

Our Definition


Based on existing knowledge and observations and experiences from our own work, we have developed the following definition of ubiquitous computing, especially as it applies to teaching and learning:


We define ubiquitous computing environments as learning environments in which all students have access to a variety of digital devices and services, including computers connected to the Internet and mobile computing devices, whenever and wherever they need them. Our notion of ubiquitous computing, then, is more focused on many-to-many than one-to-one or one-to-many, and includes the idea of technology being always available but not itself the focus of learning.

Moreover, our definition of ubiquitous computing includes the idea that both teachers and students are active participants in the learning process, who critically analyze information, create new knowledge in a variety of ways (both collaboratively and individually), communicate what they have learned , and choose which tools are appropriate for a particular task.


Why Is Ubiquitous Computing Important?



Ubiquitous computing is changing our daily activities in a variety of ways. When it comes to using today's digital tools users tend to

  • communicate in different ways
  • be more active
  • conceive and use geographical and temporal spaces differently
  • have more control

In addition, ubiquitous computing is

  • global and local
  • social and personal
  • public and private
  • invisible and visible
  • an aspect of both knowledge creation and information dissemination


Last updated on 05/12/2006