Topics I write about often seem to coalesce from active themes. I can kind of identify the sources for this post – iPad announcement, reaction to health care reform, and reading the first chapter of “Rethinking education in the age of technology”. The topic that emerged is – Time for subsidized wifi.
1) From Collins and Halverson – the claim that the education that occurs outside of school is changing and the related concern that those most likely to benefit are those who can afford the toys and the access
2) From the iPad – this appears to be a great tool (although pricey) for exploring and participating online
3) from health care reform – are citizens of the U.S. capable of getting beyond what they can do for themselves to consider what might be best to do for the country
I do think that learning outside of school offers significant possibilities, but the notion that “hand held” devices as they presently exist will change much ignores the cost of access. I always wonder when I listen to presentations about hand held devices why no mention is made regarding the monthly cost for a data plan. Sure, a proportion of kids of all backgrounds may carry a cell phone, but SMS is not going to get it done. Schools might provide the devices (see below – Cindy working in our kitchen), but who will provide the access.
I like the idea of public wifi as a government subsidized option (hence the reference to health care and what we are willing to do for each other).
GigaOM on wifi renaissance