Retiring The Phone

phonesAre we ready to retire the phone? After seeing the newest, over-sized “phones” against the heads of normal people, are you wondering whether the word phone is even appropriate anymore? When was the last time you used your phone to actually have an Alexander Graham Bell “Watson, I need you” moment?

One of the newest Nokia Windows-based phones sports a 41-megapixel camera as the reason you need it. While reports are that the camera is amazing, has a great camera replaced the reason we buy phones? For most people outside of developing countries, phones today are used mostly as cameras.

While some of us actually have an occasional and traditional conversation, text for the most part has replaced that. And those larger screens that dwarf normal-sized heads, and stretch hands and fingers to their max can stream some pretty fantastic video, games, and face-to-face conversations.

Looking at the phone form factor, it has gone from huge and clunky in its mobile infancy, to tiny in its adolescence, and now back to large, albeit aerodynamic, as it continues to mature. A few have begun to call them Phablets, but in reality, they’ve morphed into something altogether new, and even calling them smartphones won’t work much longer. No matter the size, shape, or name, these mobile devices in our hands are computers, or better mobile computing systems.

Some of us may take that for granted, but in the developing world, these handhelds, phones, mobile devices, are a connection outside the local environment and community. To hold in-hand a device capable of connecting learning to someone isolated who has never seen a schoolroom is real power—even in the smallest, least costly package—whatever you choose to call it.

Ken Royal

Ken Royal is an educator with 34 years of classroom/school and instructional technology teaching experience, as well as a blogger on all things education and education technology. Teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year, Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. He is an Education storyteller. Follow @KenRoyal on Twitter.
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