Friday, February 24

Smarter phones emerging in the future

Cell phones are getting smaller and more powerful each day. The disposable Concept and Conduit cell phone is already patented and being manufactured; it is a mere two by three inches, with the thickness of three credit cards, and is made entirely of paper (the circuit board is printed with metallic conductive ink).  Such phones, in volume, will likely cost less than a dollar each, with the air time for educational uses likely subsidized by carriers and others. Some already see mobile bills shrinking to only a few dollars as the mobile companies pay off their investments in the new networks.

Although we often hear complaints from older Digital Immigrants about cell phones' limited screen and button size, it is precisely the combination of miniaturization, mobility, and power that grabs today's Digital Natives.

They can visualize a small screen as a window to an infinite space and have quickly trained themselves to keyboard with their thumbs.

Despite what some may consider cell phones' limitations, our students are already inventing ways to use their phones to learn what they want to know. If educators are smart, we will figure out how to deliver our product in a way that fits into our students' digital lives—and their cell phones. Instead of wasting our energy fighting their preferred delivery system, we will be working to ensure that our students extract maximum understanding and benefit from the vast amounts of cell-phone-based learning of which they will, no doubt,
soon take advantage.

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