306544780_4dc16c0405_m.jpgWe debate which mobile devices (e.g. PDA, ipod, mobile phone) to use for mlearning? And it is good to hear differing opinions from people like Stuart Smith and Nick Cowie on the use of mobile phones. But more importantly, we have others reflecting on whether they should be letting their students take their mobile phones out of their bags. Unfortunately, in most circumstances, if teachers want to use their student’s mobile phones for learning they will not be allowed to because it is against school policy! [image by bb_matt]

So tonight it was nice to come across a video podcast interview by Robert Scoble with Elliot Soloway, faculty member of the University of Michigan and founder of GoKnow Learning (Educational computing for mobile handheld computers) that discusses both policies and the future of mobile phones in education.

Elliot points out while many schools think laptops are the solution he believes that mobile phones will be the tool of the future in education.

His reason include:

  • Mobile computing is what kids are doing any way and soon 100 % of students will have mobile phones
  • Most schools have poor IT support which is why their computers do not work.
  • Internet works 50 % of the time in schools which means teachers have to plan two lessons (Internet and no Internet).
  • Price of mobile phones is decreasing.

Elliot also explains that:

  • Education is about meeting the requirement of their curriculum; there will need to be blending of the curriculum with the mobile phones.
  • It will not be a painless process; there will be a tear between the old and the new ways.
  • Schools will eventually need to change their attitudes towards mobile phones.

Check out the video podcast interview by Robert Scoble with Elliot Soloway here!

My thoughts – will be interesting to see in 4 years time whether the mobile phone has become the tool.