My iPhone and a Personal Exploration of Mobile Computing

Image representing iPhone 3G as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase

I’ve always liked communication devices. As a child, we made “tin can telephones” by tying two cans together with a length of string. We pulled the string taught and our voices were magically transmitted to the other can, which served as both a speaker and a microphone. I’m sure we were the forerunner of the Verizon ad, which asks, “can you hear me now?” Using a real telephone to communicate with my grandparents and friends was a real privilege. Advancing to a dial phone was high technology and gave me control. My big dream was to someday have a Dick Tracey watch. Radio transmission and reception were considered magic. I experimented with making a crystal radio and eventually, my parents bought me a Citizen’s Band Radio. Mobility was the next move. My Dad got the bug and he installed a CB radio in the car. We could talk to others while driving and get local information while on trips. We even got walkie-talkies so we could communicate while camping and during other escapades. Little did I know that some day I would have a cell phone and a computer.

With the advent of the internet, my communication options have continued to grow. The ability to e-mail, text, Skype or even transmit video to anyone with connectivity was the next dream come true. But, mobility was not forgotten. That dream was realized with acquisition of a laptop. Connectivity and mobility have changed my life and the way I think about my work, access to information sharing and education. It even changed my understanding of where I might be engaged in educational programs and aided my pursuit of an MSEd. from CSU Eastbay.

I’ve been attracted to the notion freedom and mobile communication all my life. I now live in a time when these various modes of communication and information sharing have converged into handheld devices, and I can see that experimenting and learning to use these devices effectively is the next step in my evolution. I have to learn how this technology can be leveraged to enhance learning and teaching. Hence, the iPhone cometh!

In coming weeks and months, I intend to use this blog to document my experience with the iPhone, mobility and exploration of opportunities to transform my own learning and teaching.

My iPhone was actually purchased on April 11, 2009. My blogging practice has been on the back burner for some time, but with this post, I hope to resume sharing my learning and thoughts on a more regular basis.

I’ll collect my notes and share some specifics in the next few days, but I do want to state that the iPhone has already changed me. I no longer think of the device as a telephone, but a Mobile Computing and Communication Platform (MCCP). I’m searching for a clever name, but even that process makes me think deeply about what this device does, can and will mean to me as my experience unfolds. It’s not just a phone; that’s actually a very small part of it’s function. It is not just about communication, because I clearly can do computing functions. It’s not just about what I can do between myself, and someone with another device, because it has already changed the way I converse at the dinner table. The option to do research on the spot or share information with others at the table is transforming my face-to-face experience as well.

Welcome along for the ride.

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