Smartphone ownership among college-aged Americans is high and growing, and many students own more than one mobile device. Such devices are increasingly incorporated into the academic lives of students, and the era of “bring your own everything” presents new opportunities and challenges for higher education. Mobile data collection is the practice of gathering data in the field via a personal mobile device. This paper serves as an introduction to the four main types of MDC—passive, public, crowdsourced, and private—highlighted with exploratory use cases that demonstrate how learning, research, and community engagement can leverage this new technology space.
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