Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wireless Devices and Field Trip Adventures

The Best FCC Regulation, Ever ~ Chris Pirillo
The Best FCC Regulation, Ever July 11, 2007 at 2:07 am · in Communication · Comments New rules could rock wireless world, literally: Coming soon could be a wireless broadband world in which consumers get to pick any smartphone or other device and load any software on it - not have to take what the wireless carrier wants to sell.

Dude. DUDE?! This can’t be true. I simply can’t believe that this is actually (possibly) happening. Of course, I’d imagine that Apple’s lobby won’t let it fly - but if they really, truly cared about users - as they claim - they won’t have a problem in opening up a little bit more and playing along with the rest of the consumer electronics world. The carriers and phone manufacturers must become more interoperable.

This would be great for when students are away from school or on their way home on a school bus. However, in a recent conversation with a middle school teacher, she told me why this is not such a great idea. My fellow educator told me that a group of middle school students participated in a field trip to a North Carolina city. Their educational goal was well documented and communicated with parents and students. Students asked permission to carry their Sony PSP and Nintendo DS gaming devices to play on the bus ride. When the students got bored walking around the scheduled educational venue, the middle schoolers began to explore on their own. They used their DS and PSP wireless Internet access to access their own entertainment. Mark one up for "disruptive technology". Lesson learned: wireless Internet on cell phones would be very disruptive on a school field trip. FaceBook, YouTube, AOL Music. I can hear it now-- "HEY! we are on school field trip...if you wanted to just play on the Internet you should have stayed home."

While attending the Model Schools Conference, I keep hearing that educators need to focus on Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships. My question is this: How can educators motivate students to use their problem solving skills when learning about how to analyze variables in scientific investigations?

Until I can get a handle on the pedagogy-- Sony PSP and Nintendo DS are not welcome on any of my potential field trips.

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