Posted by: crudbasher | August 1, 2011

How the Smart Phone Will Disrupt Education

iPool (cc) JD Hancock

The article summarized below is a great list of factors in Mobile Learning. In the course of writing this blog I have taken in a vast amount of information and thought a great deal about the education system and the way we learn. It seems that every industry has a time of dominance, and then is disrupted by unforseen innovations. I think that time is now for public education. The disruptive innovation is the smart phone.

The trend in computer evolution is clear. 50 years ago a computer took up a large room and weighed many tons. We have then moved from mainframes, mini computers, desktop computers, laptops, netbooks, and now smart phones. Today’s smart phones are millions of times more powerful and fit in your pocket. Not only that, but connected to the Internet, they allow a person to connect up with much of human knowledge almost instantly.

I predict the big change for smart phones in the next few years will be in the area of interface. We have tried to replicate the mouse and keyboard style web on a smart phone but the small screen is a limiting factor that won’t go away. Therefore, I think we will develop a blend of technologies such as voice recognition, gesture recognition, location based filtering and simple AI assistants to help us get access to what we need to know faster and more efficiently.

I think cell phones will become more aware of their surroundings by video, audio and location sensors. They will be constantly generating information about what is happening before we know it. For example, it will know you are riding in a car. Using acceleration sensors it will be able to know when you have had an accident and will automatically call for help. What this means for education will be profound. In a few more years a student will be able to set their smart phone on their desk and have it listen to the teacher’s questions. Then it will instantly provide the answers. What happens then? Do we ban them or change our teaching methods?

Our school system was setup for a specific teaching style in mind. Changing it will mean changing a massive machine that is specifically designed to resist perturbation. No major industry in history has managed to stay unchanged in the face of disruptive innovation. Will education be the first?

  • Nice summary article about mobile learning

    tags: education technology LMS mobile cell phone nell

    • While the applications of mobile learning are growing all the time, Online College has highlighted some of the major trends here, showing tge changes in how we teach, learn and interact in educational environments.
    • Location-based integration. Mobile learning has taken to the streets, with technologies that allow for seamless integration with a wide range of locations. One of the best uses of this technology has been within museums, where visitors can use a mobile device to listen to information about items in the museum’s collection.
    • Not only could it be a big money saver, it may help eliminate the problem of student textbooks becoming quickly outdated as new discoveries are made, something every teacher and child can appreciate.
    • An inexpensive solution, cloud computing is becoming the norm everywhere from grade schools to grad schools, perhaps because it is not only simple to use, but mobile as well. Information on the cloud, whether its lesson plans or class projects, can be accessed from anywhere, anytime and on any mobile device.
    • Numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of one-to-one computing programs in raising test scores and increasing college attendance, but with many districts strapped for cash and unable to provide devices for each student, this isn’t always a possibility. The solution may be found in asking students to bring their own devices to class, cutting back on the number of mobile devices the school needs to provide while still enhancing the learning experience.
    • This can mean a variety of things, but in many cases it involves students each participating in a project on the web.
    • These kinds of projects not only help students learn to work together, but educate them on technological tools they’ll need to use in their academic and professional lives.
    • While some debate the effectiveness of tablet computers as a learning tool, experimentation with them in the classroom has had largely positive results from both teachers and students.
    • Students, teachers and parents alike can easily check grades, upload assignments and check on homework through the assessment tools, making them not only more accessible, but more practical for anyone involved in the educational process.
    • While social media in education is still tricky territory, as sites like Twitter and Facebook evolve, the ways they’re used in the classroom will likely become more refined and potentially more powerful in creating a better educational experience.
    • educators are taking note and developing learning tools that offer up snack sized bits of learning for students on the go. These single-serve educational bites may make it easier for students to tackle the ever-increasing amount of information they need to know
    • Mobile learning isn’t just catching on in schools and colleges, it’s also becoming a part of the workplace training experience as well, providing information and a new format for testing understanding.
    • Additionally, mobile devices are an excellent source of reference information should an employee ever encounter a situation with which he or she isn’t familiar.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


  1. Nice and catchy title.. How about the tablets?

  2. […] How the Smart Phone Will Disrupt Education The article summarized below is a great list of factors in Mobile Learning. In the course of writing this blog I have taken in a vast amount of information and thought a great deal about the educa… Source: […]

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  6. It’s accurate to say that technology like mobile phones and tablets are being more and more integrated into the educational environment. It’s interesting to see how it will affect teachers, users, and the quality of education. Take a look at our post on using tablets for sales teams: Feel free to subscribe or recommend!

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