My last post presented a little snippet from a Cellphone policy from Montgomery School District. Essentially it said no phone/mobile device should enter or be used here. The policy was written perhaps four years ago and could have been seen as a safe move given what the perceived possible contribution to learning compared to possible issues unacceptable use might raise. The balance is tipping at lightning speed (and forever) with devices such as the ipod touch, iphone, android devices, netbooks etc. Their possible contribution is real contribution.
I have said and have to repeat that management issues aside we are forgoing an opportunity to learn to be better; to move into a new paradigm rather than just admire it from afar as the kids get on with it. The steps we need are bolder and quicker. Schools are slowly coming round to the idea of 1to1 provision and here it is in an ipod touch for $300 New Zealand Dollars. The video below looks at the experience of a school in the U.K.
A Safe Step may be to allow these touch devices which though not a phone are all but and use our schools wireless networks for connectivity. The next generation will undoubtedly have cameras and mics making them a reasonably solid platform for learning especially once a few apps come down from the appstore. What I think we need to realise fast is that we if we converge some of the functionality we have been get elsewhere into one of these devices they are not as expensive as they first seem.
This to me is one device format that we will see in almost everyone’s future and generally it will contain a phone as well.
These devices will undoubtedly enable learning, save lives and change lives.
Are we big enough to let them change our schools?
When will we let this take place?
Here are some of the things an iPhone can do today. This is a small selection There are 100,000 apps in the store many costing $0.99 making opportunities nearly endless.
Others may not agree but a mobile device that has iPhone capability is a point that will soon be achievable for more of the population than having their own pc ever was. To me the important thing is that it will be personal and so will the learning.
Mark Prensky is debating should we give a four year old an iPhone?
Some other links
Elsewhere we can find out about 5 (Free) iPhone Apps Every Parent Should Have.
Exams phone a friend