What is Near Field Communication?

Near field communication (NFC) enables mobile and other devices to securely exchange radio communications with each other, either when they are touched together or brought in close proximity. The standards for NFC are based on existing radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems to allow two-way communication between devices, and essentially boils down to short-range wireless protocols that function similarly to Bluetooth, but with a highly secure transmission protocol. Common uses of NFC for commerce, social interactions, and security respectively include contactless transactions at stores, data and media exchange, and encrypted identity keycards — all accessible via mobile device. Google Wallet, for example, allows users to store credit card information on their NFC-enabled smartphone so that they can simply swipe their phone at a pay station and the purchase is instantly completed. Because NFC also enables users to share contacts, photos, videos, and audio files with each other by simply moving the mobile devices close together, it could become a powerful technology for seamless collaboration and the easy exchange of information and content.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • on an administrative front, this could easily be used as an attendance check, should attendance be mandatory for some things. On another, as a means for alerting those near certain points on campus for particular events/occurrences - such as what class is on in the room they are close to, details of an artwork, new texts in the library, updates and alerts about particular classes or changes - n.wright n.wright Oct 16, 2015.
  • this could easily support sharing of resources especially if it is integrated into a particular learning context or task - n.wright n.wright Oct 16, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Interesting to hear about Google's Eddystone // iBeacon project one week and then not hear anything about it since. - dicksonk dicksonk Oct 20, 2015
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • the pace of innovation is relentless. Academics will probably ignore these, unless they can see HOW they will support what they do already. This is a strategic behaviour and perfectly sensible. IF higher ed institutions are keen for academics to take up these kinds of technologies, they will need to acknowledge that this requires time and effort and head shifts. This is not easy when the pressure to publish, publish, publish is so persistent. - n.wright n.wright Oct 16, 2015
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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