I recently purchased a wireless card from Verizon and let me tell you, it has totally increased my ability to learn on an anytime, anywhere basis. I spent several hours on a bus to and from a workshop called Moodlebootcamp at a place called Pack Forest near Eatonville, WA. It is the most productive traveling I have ever done. On the way there, I wrote two blog posts, re-connected with numerous twitter and plurk friends, tweeked several Moodle Tasks I have been working on in a course I am creating, and I even played a little World of Warcraft. On the way home I continued customizing Moodle tasks and started planning a workshop I hope to conduct in the fall.
I am writing this blog post an Acer Aspire One Netbook that costs less than $300.00usd. I believe similar machines will soon cost under $200.00usd. My wireless card is a little pricey, but I would gladly pay the amount I am paying to get productive things done at times when in the past, productivity was impossible. I beginning to truly love my time writing in and posting to my blog anytime I want…even as I move across three states coming to and from a workshop. Learning anytime, anywhere, anything will only become increasingly possible as we continue moving through this century. The ability to learn in a mobile way will only become more efficient and inexpensive over the next few years for our students.
Are we ready to let our kids take advantage of these increasingly inexpensive technologies by allowing them to utilize mobile devices in and out of our classrooms for learning, sharing, and collaboration purposes? According to many of the teachers I know, we are not. Mobile devices and the communication they produce are nothing more than a distraction to the learning process is what many teachers I know profess. Perhaps we should be teaching them HOW to utilize those devices as learning tools instead of forbidding students from having them anywhere near our classrooms.