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Smart Phones’ Applications to Exchange and Share Information, Research Proposal Example

Pages: 12

Words: 3394

Research Proposal

Introduction

The exchange and sharing of information through smart phones is distinctive feature of today’s technology, as a result of increased demand and fast technological development of smart phones. According to the report issued by Cisco enterprise (2012), specialized in the field of electronic networks, it is expected to be more smart phones than humans in 2012. Further, the study states that by the year 2016 there will be 10 billion mobile phones connected to the Internet in the world.  And that the volume of data that has been circulating via mobile phone devices in 2011 amounted to eight times the size of the global Internet data in 2000. The average use of ” smart phone ” in 2013 about 150 MB of data per month, it is expected that this figure will rise to 2.6 gigabytes by 2016. A recent Sysomos report (2012) confirms that smart phones and their functions are talked about on social media sites, and they are in the focus of attention. The rapid growth of the number of ad-hoc and Wi-Fi networks supports the development of information sharing through smart phones. As Cheng and Li (2013, p. 376) write, “smart phone has become one of the indispensable products for people’s life.”

While the applications developed for smart phones have been designed to make human interaction faster and more effective, several industries, such as education, research and even health care are discovering the benefits of using instant data sharing. (Dahlstorm et al. 2013) The below study is designed to reveal the main benefits and risks associated with the increased use of smart phones by professionals, as well as students. (Mtega et al., 2012) The authors would like to further review the risks associated with instant data sharing and collaboration features provided by smart phones, as well as the most efficient ways of avoiding leaks of personal data.

Significance of the Study

The theoretical significance of this study is an attempt to provide an overview of the use of smart phones to share and exchange information with others. This is done through two types of information systems; social networking sites and e-learning systems. As through superficially designed smart phone applications students can share and exchange information for academic and research purposes, study methods and lifestyles have been significantly changed by the increased use of smart phones. Hence the importance of the study in the attempt to diagnose the reality of this phenomenon and to identify the factors affecting apps, and the risks resulting from both the individual and community level. (Nokia Siemens Networks Smart Labs,2011) This phenomenon has not received adequate attention from the study and research, especially in the Arab countries. The above statement is confirmed by the scarcity of studies and research on this phenomenon.

The significance of the study is to fully reveal the evolution of modern technologies in the field of communication, exchange of information and share has led many countries to think about how to benefit from these technologies in the scientific purposes in the attainment benefit of society. (Sarwar and Soomro, 2013) In the meantime avoiding the negative effects that may be caused by the rapid expansion of the use of these technologies on society members is necessary. Hence this study represents an attempt to maximize the benefits process resulting from the use of smart phone applications in the fields of sciences and research so as to facilitate life style and make it easier. (Matsurnura et al., 2013)

Objectives of the Study

The study aims to research the use of smart phones’ applications for exchanging and sharing information. This main objective is divided into a number of sub objectives:

  1. To discuss the most prominent areas of the use of smart phones’ applications in the field of exchange and share of information.
  2. To study of the factors influencing the use of smart phones’ applications in the field of exchange and share of information. While the study will focus on technology-enabled generation’s smart phone application usage habits, it will attempt to provide a universal and easy to accomplish outline of future developments and trends.
  3. To reveal the most important challenges facing the use of smart phones’ applications in the exchange and share of information. The study is designed to examine security threats and data mining risks associated with the use of smart phone applications, as well as the methods of protecting users’ privacy.
  4. To study the relationship and identify statistical differences between the use of smart phones’ applications to exchange information, share, and many variables such as sex, marital s, educational and practical, professional status and different age groups and level of economic, cultural and social of smart phone users. (Yu, 2012)

Research Questions

This study is designed to fulfill its objectives through answering some important questions regarding to the usage of smart phones to exchange and share information. (Matsurnura et al., 2013) These questions will form the basis of the research and will be the focus of the questionnaires distributed to participants.

  1. What are applications used in smart phones to exchange and share information?
  2. What information is exchanged and shared using smart phones’ applications.
  3. What are the factors influencing the use of smart phones applications in the field of information exchange and share
  4. What are the main challenges facing the use of smart phones’ applications to exchange and share information?
  5. Are there relationships and statistically significant differences between the use of smart phones’ applications to exchange information and share, and many variables such as sex, marital, educational and practical, professional status and different age groups and level of economic, cultural and social of smart phone users.

Problem Statement

The current study is based on a hypothesis that the use of smart phones in the field of information exchange and share is subject to many factors vary according to a number of variables, and that this process has become a phenomenon in Saudi society, mainly that let researchers attempt to study a scientific study in order to investigate and identify risks and challenges in an attempt to reach a set of mechanisms that determine the positives, negatives and the most prominent ways to deal with it. Hence, this study tries to prove the following hypotheses related to the use of smart phones.

Hypothesis1: Social Media is the most prominent area of the use of smart phones’ applications to exchange and share information

Hypothesis2: Age, education level and gender influence smart phone applications’ use regarding their use to share and exchange information

Hypothesis3: The main challenges of using smart phone applications to share and exchange information are related to potential system vulnerability and security problems.

Hypothesis4: Information exchange through smart phone applications can be beneficial for health care, education and other professionals.

Literature Review

According to a recent research document published by the Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers Institute (Meeker and Wu, 2013), the technological changes and developments in smart phone software and operating system have made three systems more prominent than the rest: iOS, Android and Windows Phone. The authors highlight the fact that while twenty years ago people at a concert were just participating and telling friends about their experience after, today they are able to take an image or video using their smart phones and instantly share them on social media sites. In the past five years, the amount of digital content that was created and shared online grew by 800 percent. (Meeker and Wu, 2013, p. 11) The number of photos uploaded daily on different internet platforms skyrocketed in the past five years as well, with Facebook being the largest platform for hosting user-generated content. YouTube seems to be another winner of social media used through smart phone applications. The growth of smart phone subscribers per year is significant all around the world; 28 percent in the USA and 31 percent in China. The overall growth on a global scale is 31 percent.

Falaki et al. (2010) researched data traffic of smart phones using two different data sets. The research involved monitoring data traffic of ten smart phone users and thirty-three Android users. The study revealed that across the two data sets, the most common application of the smart phones was browsing. The second most popular use of the mobile devices was media, and the third email.

A 2011 ComScore project (Radwick et al., 2011) focused on the impact of smart phone use on media consumption. The researchers found that almost half of the total U.S. population is using mobile media. (as of 2011, the numbers are likely to be higher today). One of the main findings is that smart phone adoption drives the growth of mobile media use. Further, the study states that nearly 3 out of 5 tablet and mobile device users reads news online. This also indicates that people’s media and news consumption habits are changing. Instead of buying a newspaper, they are able to read, comment on and share articles through their mobile devices, including smart phones. Related to communication, information and data sharing, the study concludes that three out of four uses accessed email on their mobile devices. Real time social networking was another common use of mobile devices, as confirmed by the research.

Reviewing smart phone security, Enck (2011, p. 22) confirms that security threats are present and serious regarding sharing and exchanging information. The author states that “Smartphone malware is comprised primarily of Trojans, often designed to exfiltrate user information or use premium rate cellular services (e.g., SMS).” While platform protection, including permission settings exist, applications’ interaction is hard to control by users.

As collaborative learning and the educational use of smart phones will be one of the focus points of the current study, the authors will also review the literature related to lecture interaction through smart phones. Järvelä et al. (2007) researched the use of Mobile Mind Map tool for education and collaborative purposes. The pedagogical advantages of mobile smart phone applications have already been confirmed by Cochrane and Bateman (2010), in particular focus on M-Learning tools. According to’ their study (Cochrane and Bateman, 2010), the affordances of smart phones are extremely strong on the administrative support, real time event, collaboration, student journal, portfolio and lecturer feedback fields. The authors found that smart phone applications can support collaborative learning as well as self-regulation and organization of group study. However, collaborative smart phone apps are not only suitable to enhance the outcomes of education, but can be used in other fields as well. Perron et al. (2010) talk about the use of information communication technology in social work, where the sharing and exchange of information has a crucial role in the job. Sharing and exchanging photos, videos, collaborating and exchanging documents through Google Docs can support social workers who need to be mobile and flexible. Cloud computing applications are likely to be used in several fields to improve communication and speed up the exchange of information. Burdette et al. (2008) talk about the diversity of benefits related to information sharing through smart phones within clinical practice.  Dennison et al. (2013) also confirms that there are several potential benefits of smart phone application use related to health interventions and behavior change. As the above review has revealed, there are endless opportunities that lie in the software designed to enable smart phones to share, transmit and exchange information. The below study design will attempt to reveal current trends, opportunities and risks related to students’ and educators’ use of these applications.

Methodology of the Study

This study is based on achieving its objectives and answering its questions through the use of descriptive analytical approach through social survey of a sample of users of smart phones in the field of exchange and share of information. The study is based on data collection questionnaire which consists of several themes reflect the objectives of the study and try to answer its questions. samples are intentionally chosen of users of these smart phones in the city of Riyadh and workers in many scientific and research institutions on the side of many of the economic institutions that its nature relies on the exchange and sharing of information through smart phones, in addition to a sample of university students in levels higher education, master’s and doctoral students and staff members of these universities.

Participants

Five hundred participants of the study will be selected from college students in the local university. The randomly selected sample of participants will contain equal amount of males and females, enrolled into undergraduate to doctorate courses. The researchers would select and pre-screen participants based on initial qualifying questions related to their use and ownership of a smart phone. Participants will be asked to record their usage of information sharing and exchanging smart phone applications through the course of one week, 168 hours. Private and education related use will both be considered in the survey.

Design

A multiple choice questionnaire will be designed to reveal the answer to the following questions related to the study:

  1. What are the most prominent areas of the use of smart phones’ applications to exchange and share information?
  2. What are the various factors affecting it?
  3. What are the challenges facing its optimum investment?
  4. What are the proposed ways to activate the use of smart phones’ applications in the field of information exchange and share?

Materials

Survey questions will be distributed through email, printed and social media questionnaire forms. They questionnaire will be developed using a free application called SurveyMonkey, available at surveymonkey.com. All consent forms, privacy policies will be distributed alongside the survey questions. The multiple choice questions will be related to the use of different applications, features of smart phones and participants’ perception on potential security and privacy risks associated with the use of data sharing apps on smart phones. Further, the security awareness and protection habits of users will be surveyed.

The proposed survey questions are found in the below table.

Table 1. Survey Questions.

168 hours monitoring 0-5 times 5-15 times More than 15 times
How many times you shared a link, video or photo through your smart phone on social media?
How many times have you uploaded images on social media?
How many times did you use your smart phone for research or educational purposes?
How many times you used your smart phone for collaborative learning?
How many times you used your smart phone for logging into student portal?
How many times you used your smart phone for mind-mapping?
Yes No Not Sure
Do You think that smart phone apps are designed to protect your privacy?
Have you shared anything on social media unintentionally because you authorized one of your smart phone applications to do so?
Do you use a privacy protection on your smart phone?
Does your smart phone synchronize your online accounts with your mobile applications?
Do you think that smart phone applications enhance collaborative learning experience?
Would you like to use your smart phone for online learning/teaching, feedback and tests?

Further, the gender and age group of participants will be recorded in the beginning of the survey, however, the participation will remain anonymous.

Procedure

Participants will be asked to record their use of smart phone applications, their perception on their security and the features of collaboration used. Responses will be gathered through social media, email, online website and in person. Data will be analyzed and put into a chart for review after all the questionnaires are provided back from participants.  After the delivery of the survey questions, participants will be given a web link to record the time they started monitoring their smart phone application usage.

Data Analysis Plan

Mean scores of data sharing and exchanging applications will be created based on the role (student, educator or worker) of the participants, as well as based on gender. The scores will be analyzed in order to confirm the four hypotheses detailed in the study. It is important to also reveal the different information and data exchange habits/needs of participants, (Research Information Network, 2011) as well as their perception on online mobile app security. The following correlations will be analyzed:

  • Correlation 1: gender- number of link sharing
  • Correlation 2: gender – security perception
  • Correlation 3: gender- education, research and collaborative learning use
  • Correlation 4: role(student, educator or worker) and education, research and collaborative learning use
  • Correlation 5: extent of data sharing app use and security perception
  • Correlation 6: extent of data sharing app use and unintentional sharing
  • Correlation 7: security perception and unintentional sharing

Ethical Considerations

Informed consent forms will be distributed and signed physically or digitally by participants before the study commences. Risks associated with collaboration and the rights of participants to preserve their anonymity will be communicated. Digitally received questionnaires will be encrypted, so IP addresses will not be transmitted with data. The researchers will ensure that all risks associated with the research will be minimized and the purpose of the study is clearly outlined for participants. Personal identification data will be destroyed after the selection of participants.

Assumptions and Bias

The study suggests an initial sample size of 500 from all and this enable the researcher to perform an advanced statistical analysis. Te study is expected to provide a set of results that reflect the reality of the phenomenon which is the subject of the study and identify the factors affecting it and the challenges that hinder better investment for the benefit of society and particular areas of education, health care, government and social work.

Limitations

As the self-report of smart phone users has its reliability related limitations and users might not remember all the instances they used one particular application, the research will have a potential above 5 percent error rate, which will be added to the variations table when analyzing the results. However, due to privacy considerations, and the cost related to creating a monitoring app that can be downloaded to the smart phones to provide real time reliable data, the authors were ready to compromise in order to comply with privacy preferences of participants and preserve their integrity.

References

Burdette, S., Herchline, T., Oehler, R. (2008) Practicing medicine in a technological age: using smartphones in clinical practice. Surfing the Web  CID 2008:47 (1 July)

Cheng, K., Li, Q, (2013) Smart phone for mobile communication community. International Journal of e-Education, e-Business, e-Management and e-Learning, Vol. 3, No. 5, October 2013

Cisco Corporation. (2012) Cisco visual networking index: global mobile data traffic forecast update, 2012–2017. White Paper.

Cochrane, T., Bateman, R. (2010) Smartphones give you wings: Pedagogical affordances of mobile Web 2.0. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 2010, 26(1), 1-14

Dahlstrom, E., Walker, J., Dziuban,  C. (2013) ECAR Study of undergraduate students and information technology. Educase Center for Analysis and Research. Working Paper.

Dennison, L., Morrison, L., Conway, G., Yardley, L (2013) Opportunities and challenges for smartphone applications in supporting health behavior change: qualitative study. J Med Internet Res 2013;15(4):e86

Enck, W. (2011) Defending users against amartphone apps: Techniques and future directions. Information Systems Security. Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume 7093, 2011, pp 49-70

Falaki, H., Lymberopoulos, D., Mahajan, R., Kandula, S., Estrin, D. (2010) A first look at traffic on smartphones. IMC’10, November 1–3, 2010

Järvelä, S., Näykki, P., Laru, J., Luokannen, T. (2007) Structuring and regulating collaborative learning in higher education with wireless networks and mobile tools. Educational Technology & Society, 10 (4), 71-79

Matsurnura, N., Nezu, H., Motoyarna, H., Takase, M. (2013)  Case examples of services and applications utilizing smartphones. Fujitsu Sd. Tech. Journal. Vol. 49. No. 2. pp. 166-171

Meeker, M., Wu, L. (2013) Internet trends D11 conference. Presentation. Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers Institute

Mtega, W., Bernard, R., Msungu, A., Sanare, R. (2012) Using mobile phones for teaching and learning purposes in higher learning institutions: the case of Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania. Proceedings and report of the 5th UbuntuNet Alliance annual conference, 2012 pp 118-129

Nokia Siemens Networks Smart Labs (2011) Understanding smartphone behavior in the network. White Paper.

Perron, B., Taylor, H., Glass, J., Leys, J. (2010) Information and communication technologies in social work. Advances in Social Work Vol. 11 No. 1 (Spring 2010), 67-81

Randwick, S., Aquino, C., ComScore Inc. (2011) How tablets, smartphones and connected devices are changing U. S. digital media consumption habits. Comscore.

Research Information Network. (2011) Information handling in collaborative research: an exploration of five case studies. British Library.

Sarwar, M., Soomro, T. (2013) Impact of smartphone’s on society. European Journal of  Scientific Research. Vol. 98 No 2 March, 2013, pp.216-226

Sysomos Inc. (2012) Industry insider: Smart phones. White paper.

Yee, K., & Hargis, J. (2009). iPhones and smartphones. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 10(4), 9-11.

Yu, F. (2012) Mobile/smart phone use in higher education. Southwest decision sciences forty-third annual meeting. Conference Paper

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