Monthly Archives: December 2008

Pew Report: Future of the Internet III


Earlier this week, Pew/Internet and American Life Project published its Future of the Internet III report, which is a list of technology predictions. Key findings:

  • The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.
  • The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.
  • Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.
  • Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing arms race, with the crackers who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.
  • The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who is connected, and the results will be mixed in their impact on basic social relations.
  • Next-generation engineering of the network to improve the current internet architecture is more likely than an effort to rebuild the architecture from scratch.

Nothing really too earth-shattering based on what we know and discuss today. More predictions about the evolution of mobile communications can be found here, and also make sure to take a look at predications related to developments in the Internet user interface. Unfortunately, most predictions seem to be very conservative.

With regards to education, Judy Breck refers to a related Wired report that says that by  “By 2020, Access to Internet Will Be in Everyone’s Pocket. This is indeed a “FABULOUS opportunity to reconfigure education.” However, in order for that to happen we need more educators to start thinking about the use of student-owned digital tools (see my earlier post here) in schools (and outside of them as well).

 Image Credit: “Gypsy_fortune_teller” from Silverisdead’s photostream:

One Laptop One Child: How About Having Kids Bring Their Own?


That’s the title of a recent article on, and it’s an interesting one. According to the article,

Across the country, the same question is being considered. The idea of having 1:1 computing in schools has turned from if to when, and while the last great hurdles remain price and sustainability, more and more administrators are wondering if the answer isn’t already in their students’  backpacks and bedrooms.

Definitely a valid question to ask, and I agree with the article that this is more of an issue of when rather than if. Also,  when considering that many schools or districts cannot afford to start, let alone sustain, a 1 to 1 technology project, regardless of the device, it is good to see that some educators are actually beginning to consider the possibility that students could bring in their own devices, and not just laptops.  In fact, while most of the Scholastic article deals with the implementation of laptops brought in by students, the ending is the most telling:

Pennsylvania’s Murray already sees  students shying away from laptops because of the weight of carrying them around. “It’s much more likely in a few years all students will have their own smartphones,” he says.

The mini computers that are popping up with smaller form factors might become the next big player in the K–12 space, he says. Forsyth has even looked into using Sony Playstation handhelds in class, noting that they have a “decent Web browser.”
“We want to support whatever kids bring in,” he adds.

And I don’t think it’s just the weight and size of laptops that are causing this attitude in students. There are also the differences in cost, accessibility of the technology (as in, no need to wait minutes for my laptop to boot up), and tool-to-use fit (i.e. no overload of unnecessary bells and whistles).

As the article states, there are many hurdles to be overcome to make this all work, but the fact that it is being considered at all is a giant step forward (and as a final note, I commend the parents who went to their local school board and “asked the board why their son couldn’t connect to the network that they as taxpayers helped pay for,” with a laptop brought from home).

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts…

Image credit: “Nigeria wide banner”, from One Laptop Per Child’s photostream:

The Mouse Turns 40!


No, not that mouse, but the computer mouse, as originally designed by Douglas Engelbart in 1968. Here is the story from MSN with some interesting images. Cool stuff. 

Image Credit:

Carnival of the Mobilists #154

And so here it is, the last Carnival for 2008. This week’s honors for posting go to Enrique Ortiz at the About Mobility Blog. Some interesting posts about predictions for 2008 that came true as well as some predictions for 2009. Happy reading!

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Carnival of the Mobilists #153

As hosted by mobscure this week:

Once again, MobScure has the great honour of hosting the event in Vancouver, Canada. We have some great treats for you this week!

My favorite post is the one by Judy Breck, who reposts a YouTube video, commenting that “While America’s politicians have no new ideas for education, and the privileged kids on New York’s Upper Eastside have not thought about using their mobile phones for learning, the golden age of learning is dawning. Just not here in America.”

Curious? Go check out this week’s Carnival to see the some of the best writing in mobile blogging!

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Carnival of the Mobilists #152

Hosted by All About and written by Steve Litchfield is this week’s edition of the Carnival.

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