When I was younger, I remember begging my parents for a phone in my room. I was a typical teenager (and pre-teen) who loved to talk on the phone and couldn’t imagine anything better than being allowed to do so in the privacy of my own room. My parents finally gave in. After that, I began begging for my own private phone line! Never did get that, though.
I now have a near-thirteen year old who is begging for a cell phone. I, honestly, haven’t given her request much serious consideration. What in the world would she need with a cell phone? She’s not old enough to drive. She’s not usually out on her own for any length of time. My perspective has been…there is no practical reason to give her a cell phone. And, surely it’s not wise (or safe) for my young teenager to have a cell phone….is it?
The articles I read this week, along with the class discussion, may have me singing a different tune – but, I haven’t shared that with my daughter yet. I’m still not sure I’m ready to take the plunge on the cell phone for her, but I will say that I have learned that cell phones (or mobile devices) are used for much more than just talking on the phone. In fact, among younger users, it is probably used least for phone conversation (Smith, 2010).
Mobile learning – this is a concept I thought I understood, but now realize I didn’t fully know what it was about. Previously, when I thought of mobile learning, I thought of the flexibility it must provide – learning wherever and whenever you want to. Learning that you take with you!
But, I learned that mobile learning is about much more than flexibility. Mobile devices allow for intentional learning to take place within authentic environments. Think about the student in nurse’s training. What if his/her instructor provided links or materials, accessible through a mobile device, that can be utilized while participating in on-the-job training.
The little cell phone – that mobile device – is useful for much more than talking on the phone. My, oh my, teenagers these days are much more creative than I was. My daughter will probably be using her cell phone to write the novel she dreams of publishing! I can’t think of a better way to spend a few spare minutes waiting for her rehearsal time to begin at the drama club meeting.
Aaron Smith (2010, July 7). Mobile Access 2010. Pew Internet & American Life Project. http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2010/PIP_Mobile_Access_2010.pdf