Friday, February 27, 2009

Take-out Education

The majority of schools I work with have strict policies prohibiting the use of cell phones. The majority of students I work with are more likely to come to school without pants than their phone.

Want affordable, mobile, computing power for all students? Cell phones may be the answer.

Elliot Soloway, a professor at the University of Michigan makes the following points about mobile learning:

1. Big: By combining the main functions of a PC with the resources of the internet in an ultra-portable device, smart phones and other mobile devices truly give students the ability to practice "anytime, anywhere" learning

2. Sustainable: Because most students will already have a cell phone or mobile device, parents can buy the technology for their kids, and schools can purchase only the software. Also, students prefer handheld technology to laptops because it's more portable. At the same time, handheld devices, software companies, and educators are creating programs to help implement mobile devices into the curriculum.

3. Able to provide unique opportunities, especially for interaction through blogs and academic-related text messaging.

A good manager knows you should never make a rule you can't enforce. Instead of making rules to prohibit cell phones why not put this free computing power to work for education?

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