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Are laptops for old people?

September 10, 2009

As many of you know, I have an iPhone and enjoy using it for taking pictures around the district, checking email, accessing PowerSchool and even reading news updates on the web (I also use it as a phone).  However, I still struggle to use it for functions that require a fair amount of typing and when given the choice, I would prefer to work off of my laptop.

According to internationally acclaimed University of Michigan Professor Elliot Soloway, I may be left behind in the near future if I can’t get used to using my mobile device for the majority of my work. I had the opportunity to meet Professor Soloway a few weeks ago and we had a great discussion about the future of mobile devices and their impact on public education.  His general position is that as the cellular network (3G) gets faster and faster (according to him 4G is being tested in metro areas around the country)  the function of mobile phones will become stronger and stronger. He spoke about the efforts of both Verizon and Sprint to create ways for schools to turn off voice and texting during certain times so students can use them for learning without the distraction of using them for communicating.

We discussed perhaps piloting some research in this area here in Saline to see what we could learn about the impact on the classroom.  He is currently working on an interface that would have students accessing a Moodle-like software from their phone to manage their classroom work.

The pace of technological advancement continues to amaze me….

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