MyNotes - Will Smart Phones Eliminate the Digital Divide?

Great article from David is a fascinating contrasting opinion to the email I received today, trying to change the law to allow educators to "turn off" mobile phones in classrooms with a switch. Fear-mongering or reflective dialogue? Which will triumph?

Will Smart Phones Eliminate the Digital Divide? -- THE Journal
    • Will Smart Phones Eliminate the Digital Divide? By David Nagel
      • "Smart phones are the one technology that can eliminate the digital divide," he told THE Journal. "Given the cost of the device, it is very conceivable that every child, rich or poor, can have one 24/7."
        • the tool of choice for that generation; they're relatively affordable; they're appropriate 21st century tools for developing 21st century skills; and, maybe most significant of all, they enable more than just anytime, anywhere learning. They enable, as Soloway put it, "Everywhere, all the time learning."
          • mobile phones are
            • Portability trumps everything--bigger screen, more power, bigger keyboard. Being able to take it out and turn it [on] instantly is totally important to the mobile, instant gratification generation
              • Portability provides learning in context--while doing an experiment, [a student] can write it up; while on a field trip, [a student] can capture ideas. And portability enables relating abstract concepts in the classroom to concrete items in the world.
                • You can do everything on a smart phone that you can do on a laptop, except maybe for high school geometry and except for a few scientific visualizations. But for 90 percent of what a student has to do, the smart phone can do it.

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                  Matt Messinger said…
                  Thanks for the helpful summary. I look forward to reading the entire article. The power of mobile phones truly is amazing, and I find the point about portability trumping everything to be very interesting -- and true. Where I work ( we're developing free ways for users to study their notes and flashcards on their phones because that's where students are -- they're mobile.
                  Larry S. Anderson said…
                  The article stated: "You can do everything on a smart phone that you can do on a laptop, except maybe for high school geometry and except for a few scientific visualizations."

                  Well, that's quite an exaggeration, in my opinion. How effectively can a student with a smartphone record music (a la Garageband), edit that music, then share the music to iTunes or some similar service? say nothing of sharing with others. How about something as simple as creating/editing an electronic presentation (a la PowerPoint or Keynote), then showing the presentation to an audience? Also, how about using an application like Illustrator to create a vector image, then incorporate that into a Photoshop document that will wind up, eventually, on the web? And, what about file sizes? Will a smartphone handle (easily) the 3 GB multimedia document I used this morning? I know that most phones have more than 3 GB storage, but I wonder how adept they are at multitasking (at the current time, I have 12 apps open on my laptop).

                  Just wondering...and probing...and asking.

                  Thanks for making us become increasingly provocative and pensive, Miguel!
                  Thanks, Larry! A new study shows you prob have some points!! Read

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