Time Magazine has a fascinating cover story and article collection (plus global survey results) about the ways in which mobile technology is changing our lives. When you consider how relatively quickly wireless connections and handheld devices have caught on, you realize again that we are in the midst of profound culture changes around the world. How it will all unfold is really unknown, and this is something that we teachers grapple with in our classroom. How do you teach skills for a world that is still unknown and unsettled, and shifting just about every week?
The magazine points to ten ways that mobile technology is shaking things up. (Yeah, you need to be a subscriber to read the entire articles but this gives you a glimpse anyway)
1. Elections Will Never Be The Same
2. Doing Good By Texting
3. Bye-Bye, Wallets
4. The Phone Knows All
5. Your Life Is Fully Mobile
6. The Grid Is Winning
7. A Camera Goes Anywhere
8. Toys Get Unplugged
9. Gadgets Go To Class
10. Disease Can’t Hide
I, of course, was curious about the piece about schools. The article focuses in on how schools are grappling with kids and mobile devices, and the pros of allowing students to use their own cell phones in class (powerful computing, instant access, real literacy) with the cons (running afoul of federal law, cheating, distractions). Me? I remain mixed on the idea. I can see possibilities of allowing students to bring their own devices out in class (and I have experimented with it, to mixed results) but I worry about equity issues, distractions and the ability to effectively monitor activity.
The other piece that intrigued me was the gadgets. Some neat stuff there, including the Eye-fi that can convert a camera into a wireless sender of photos. Interesting.
Peace (in the changing times),