Friday, September 30, 2011

Emerging Technology: The Cell Phone

The emergence of the cell phone into society brought about a huge impact on the way we communicate with the outside world. Cell phones have inundated our society to the point that everyone has one.  On April 3, 1973, at a public demonstration and using a heavy 30-ounce phone, Martin Cooper placed the first cell phone call to his rival at AT&T Bell Labs from the streets of New York City.(Marples, 2008)  Since this date the way we use the telephone has changed significantly. I can remember the early 1990’s and everyone wanting to have the “bag phone”. This phone was located inside of a tote bag the size of a purse that you could carry around with you. People paid huge deposits in order to have one and the price to maintain service was phenomenal. Now, we either pay by two year contract or month to month depending on the type of service you want. 
The cell phone has basically put into extinction the landline phone as well as the use of phone booths.  Most people have gotten rid of the landline phones in favor of portable service.  In the words of my husband, “I don’t want anyone having that much access to me!”. I don’t blame him. Getting rid of your phone enables everyone to have access to you 24/7 unless you are like me and cut your phone off after 8pm.  If you want me you better have my home number.  Phone booths have also mysteriously disappeared.  There used to be one on every corner and at least a station of them in the malls. Now you will be lucky to find one within 20 miles of your home. 
Cell service has, with all of its new gadgets made life a little easier for some.  We can now email, receive instant messages and chat online and also create and send documents to business meetings.  The cell phone has many of the capabilities of the computer.  For in its own right it is a mini version of a desktop computer.
I can’t help but get nostalgic about phones though. I grew up with rotary dial phones and was super excited when we got push button phones in our home. I remember the days of waiting in line for the phone at home and being made when I got a busy signal when I called home.  None of these things occur now because call waiting is standard on every phone package now. 
Cell phones have ushered in the phone companies marketing skills and they are now starting to look into the cellular business as a way to keep revenue coming in. Cox cable will start a new program offering cellular service according to an employee of the company. They are losing money to companies like Skype and others who offer phone service through the computer.  Newer versions of the phones themselves will likely replace the current versions.  There are 3-D phones out now and just about every phone system has the ability to surf the net and create and change documents.  

Marples, G.(2008) The History of Cell Phones – A Vision Realized.Retrieved from

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Emerging Technology

A current technology that has emerged and submerged itself into our society is the iPad and iPad2.  This technology has taken over the way we communicate, learn, and view news today. 

This technology has also shaped learning and how some students learn in the classroom.  According to some experts, iPads have revolutionized the way kids learn today. Here at Davidson Middles School in Crestview, FL, our science department won a grant and has outfitted each student in advanced science with an iPad to use at school. The instructor has stated that students who used to hate science are now anxious to come to class because they get to use the device.

See below how the iPad has influenced math classes.

The iPad hwoever, does not come without some problems.  Most school districts are in a budget crunch so it is hard to get the money needed to have this type of technology in schools.  In addition to that the right classes need to be selected for use and wifi has to be installed in the school if its not there already.  Another problem is filtering what the kids can access and what they can see.  Most schools have filtering systems but the extra precautions are needed with new technology.  The benefits to this is that students will get to use in the classroom tools that most of them use everyday at home. Students whose parents have iPads would have an advantage over those who don't have them in their household.  Therefore, we even the playing field when everyone is exposed to the same type of learning.  Another benefit is that the traditional classroom is given up for more advanced and higher level thinking which is where we want our kids to be in school.  As educators we owe it to the kids to provide them with the tools needed to succeed. If they have never worked on a computer what type of jobs are we setting them up to have?

According to Winnie Hu, "A growing number of schools across the nation are embracing the iPad as the latest tool to teach Kafka in multimedia, history through “Jeopardy”-like games and math with step-by-step animation of complex problems."(New York Times,, 2011) To stay a step ahead we must allow more technology in our classes and not be afraid to use it.  We must also find grants and benefactors to help offset the cost of providing this technology. Last,  we must insist that companies like Apple provide better pricing on these devices like the XO laptop, so that they can be brought into the classroom without breaking the bank.

Hu, Winnie(2011)Math That Moves: Schools Embrace the iPad.New York Times. Published January 4, 2011. Retrieved from