Ten Trends 2008


8

Rise in Use of Mobile Technologies

There are now more handhelds sold world-wide every year than desktops, and, in New Zealand, there are now more mobile phones that have been sold than the size of our population! The relative ubiquity of the hand-held over the locked-in-location limitations of the desktop, combined with the proliferation of feature sets on the mobiles mean that an increasing number people are choosing these smaller, portable devices for communicating, searching the web, storing information, and recording events as an integral part of their lives. One only has to note the number of applications now linked to mobiles—including Flickr's ability to send photos direct etc., plus other apps that ‘push’ information to mobiles (including early notification stuff) as evidence of how things are changing.

The comparative size, weight and cost of these devices, combined with the ubiquity of wireless access and availability of web applications means that mobile technologies are likely to play a more significant role within our schools and universities also. Where physical access to computers in schools for students has always posed a problem, students will increasingly be able to use the mobile in their pocket to quickly search the web, communicate with others or view sophisticated 3D resources to help their learning.
Issues for schools:

  • What is your school policy on students using mobile technologies in class?
  • How well-wired is your school to allow mobile access to the network?
  • How might the use of mobiles present a problem in traditional examination situations?

There are now more handhelds sold world-wide every year than desktops, and, in New Zealand, there are now more mobile phones that have been sold than the size of our population! The relative ubiquity of the hand-held over the locked-in-location limitations of the desktop, combined with the proliferation of feature sets on the mobiles mean that an increasing number people are choosing these smaller, portable devices for communicating, searching the web, storing information, and recording events as an integral part of their lives. One only has to note the number of applications now linked to mobiles—including Flickr's ability to send photos direct etc., plus other apps that ‘push’ information to mobiles (including early notification stuff) as evidence of how things are changing.

The comparative size, weight and cost of these devices, combined with the ubiquity of wireless access and availability of web applications means that mobile technologies are likely to play a more significant role within our schools and universities also. Where physical access to computers in schools for students has always posed a problem, students will increasingly be able to use the mobile in their pocket to quickly search the web, communicate with others or view sophisticated 3D resources to help their learning.
Issues for schools:

  • What is your school policy on students using mobile technologies in class?
  • How well-wired is your school to allow mobile access to the network?
  • How might the use of mobiles present a problem in traditional examination situations?