j Tim Denny

j Tim Denny

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2 comments posted · 0 followers · following 0

618 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Phones Are a Real Alte... · 1 reply · +1 points

I am a computer geek... I love tweaking computers, fixing up old ones and advocating smart developments... Since the mid 80's I have been tearing them apart.. sometimes breaking them and often putting them back to together with occasional improvements. My passion is low power computer devices - as I follow the news of every new device since my early introduction to the genre as a geek living in Japan before the talk of low cost devices for the developing world. There is nothing new about netbooks when you have seen an elegant Mebius Murimasa powered by a Transmeta CPU http://news.digitaltrends.com/news-article/15454/... and small form factor computers were mastered seemingly ages ago with Sumicom and other companies http://www.kingyoung.com.tw/

What I am trying to confirm is that we tend to chase the technology, there are all sorts of exciting devices for the geek in us, but what is better for teaching and learning is the crux of the argument in comparing a mobile phone to a computer. Then again what is a mobile phone and what is a computer, I would guess those devices need to be defined before a deep argument can take place. To me, the most exciting advancement coming out in the year 2009 is the ARM based netbook... a device that may be built to converge between a large phone and a small laptop

Computers have become popular in teaching and learning as there are massive libraries of applications available to run on them, remove the programs and it is just a heap of parts. Mobile phones have a more limited code base partially due to the proprietary nature of phone operating systems, lack of incentive to program for the form factor and if you look at it from an input perspective they are just too difficult to use to input large amounts of data. Yet from a data retrieval perspective a phone is a great device as it has an exceptional battery life, is portable and becoming more and more affordable, not to mention nearing ubiquitous. Such barriers that can be drawn become challenges and we may soon see a revolution as small laptops might move to phone-like architectures where the x86 code no longer works, we already see new operating systems are being designed to handle the ARM/RISC based devices and manufactures are lining up to show their offerings. Promises of 10-14hour battery life, small, thin and lightweight, low heat emitting and exciting designs are coming soon.

So what I see as an argument between the mobile phone and a computer is sort of a stale argument, convergence will solve the question in due time. There will be an affordable device that fits each need and limitations will reduce on both sides. At present stage the main dividing factor is ability to input and ability to retrieve information. Mobile phones win the retrieval case as they are so common while computers are the clear cut winner in data input. As a teacher, I will stick with the computer whether it be shared or not… in fact I preferred a shared computer as I think it is not healthy for a human to spend as much time as I do in front of a computer screen.

620 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Are ICTs the Best Educ... · 1 reply · +1 points

I get confused with discussions such as these. What goes through my mind here is 'are schools really the place we learn?' In a sense it seems the replies seem to presuppose that schools are a place for learning, thus there is a choice of increasing investment in what we are doing or maybe placing technology in the schools to enhance what is being done... But what if we instead presuppose that schools are the wrong place to learn, that essentially they have failed and are not doing what we think they should do? Wayan says :"Education is steeped in tradition, with educators often working within strict hierarchy and the explicit requirement for exact replication." Maybe our expirement with structured schooling is reaching the end. Schooling the world over is very unnatural to so many involved. The correct word was used... education... it is not about schooling... but it is about education... and education happens all around us..