Thursday, November 15, 2007

Needing a New Phone

My wonderful teammates and I are currently crafting a mediated presentation on mobile learning and, as part of my research, I started to look at the various models of mobile phones on the market.

Now, I'm not a complete phone neophyte. In fact, I've had a mobile phone since I was 19 years old. (Remember the ol' bag phones? 30 minutes a month? Magnet antenna on the topic of the car? Anyone?) However, as I started looking at the various models and functions, it became why mobile learning professionals are predicting that phones are becoming one of the top mobile learning tools.

The iPhone, with its multimedia capabilities, is the perfect example of this. You can make calls simply by touching screen, download, store and play music, check email, access maps, surf the web, text, etc. And, following in the steps of it's iPod cousin, it also lets you synch information with your PC or Mac. With today's emphasis on "just in time" learning, the iPhone and the inevitable copy cats that are sure to follow, are revolutionining mobile learning.

As one who has both an interest in instructional design and eLearning, I find these new gadgets both fascinating and frightening. Fascinating because of the opporutnities they represent. Frightening in that I'm going to have to researching in warp speed to keep up with it all.

I guess my next step is to go get a new phone. One that does more than simply make calls, send and accept text messages and take the occasional photos. The options may be overwhelming, but just think how much fun it will be to play with.


Mrs. Keady said...

My husband is enamored with the iPhone, I not so much. I feel that total interconnectedness would be a tad overwhelming and I really enjoy saying "Oh, I haven't checked my e-mail yet" ever once in a while. This is not to say that I am a techno-hater. I love the idea of it, perhaps some day I will pony up the 100 a month for the data plan and tie up with the rest of the world, until then you can expect me to check my e-mail every couple of hours during the week and once a day on weekends :)

Leonard Low said...

Hello - it's terrific to hear you're exploring the use of mobile learning. I've been looking into mobile learning for a couple of years now, and I've been enthused by the potential for all kinds of learning activities that mobile devices make possible.

However, I personally don't consider an iPhone as some kind of model device for m-learning. Yes - it's a very innovative device. But, as I point out in this post the features of the iPhone are primary geared towards *consumption* of content, rather than creation; and the platform itself is not suitable (yet) for any kind of customisation that would make it a more creative device for learners.

I'm hoping that Version 2 or 3 of the iPhone will fulfil the potential it so keenly promises, and truly become the platform for creation and learning it could be... :)

Margi said...

This is pretty interesting stuff. I share a little of Mrs. Keady's resistance to the overwhelming technology. There are days when I'd rather be completely out of touch.

Debra said...

As much as I love technology, I have to admit that I've only had a cell phone for a year. I'm a pretty private person, and sometimes a cell phone seems like an invasion of my privacy. Mobile learning is a fascinating idea so it looks like I'll be reexamining my ideas of connectedness and trying to balance that with privacy.