I would imagine that I’d have to have lived under a rock for the past five years not to notice the enormous shift away from desktop-centric computing towards mass mobility. Anecdotally, for those of us with smartphones and 3G tablets, we now find ourselves connected to the internet in one way or another most of the time – which brings new horizons, perspectives and uses that were previously never possible.
As we’ve also seen, the rise of “apps” and social media also reflects the growth of the mobile-driven internet. Very often, when out and about and pulling out phones from pockets or handbags, we need a simple app to fulfil a function such as checking a currency exchange, looking for that email we’ve been waiting on, Googling a fact and, increasingly, updating our status and telling the world what we ate for dinner!
This week’s post comes courtesy of Kim Davis and Mary Meeker, who put the shift to mobile within the enterprise/corporate world under the spotlight. While many educators have looked at what this shift means for education, it’s good to consider the corporate context too – after all, that’s where many of our students are headed, and “money makes the world go round.”
Interestingly, Davis asserts that “rapid mobile adoption is still in the early stages.” As we move into the hurricane, so to speak, developers, analysts, educators and business people alike will be looking at how our relationship with computing devices evolves. Mary Meeker’s main point is that mobility represents a largely untapped cash-cow; when there is money to be made, software and hardware development follows and, if we’re savvy, the consumer (teachers and students) can win. Mobility also presents some caveats and conditions though – and isn’t some kind of panacea for the world’s problems. As educators, I believe we need to understand some of the biggest differences between computing on a mobile device as compared with computing on a traditional desktop or laptop. As always, it’s a case of finding the right tool for the right job.