The Power of Mobile Devices

In reading Paul Muyinda’s dissertation on Learning Objects on Mobile phones, and I was struck by the comments about how mobile phones provided a freedom from power outages – that is, learners were not tied to the source of power in order to do their learning. If the central power went out, they could still do their work.

This has really struck home, as I’m typing this on my iPad in complete darkness. The power went out about an hour ago. Since I have my Android Phone, one of the first things I did was use the screen to help me navigate around the house in search of a flashlight. It is amazon how well a touchscreen phone works as a light source. The next thing I did was lot into Twitter on my phone and see if anyone had reported anything about the power outage. Since I didn’t see anything, I asked. I sent a tweet out to #ottnews, our local news hashtag saying the power was out in my neighborhood and asking “what’s up?” Within 5 minutes one of the local radio stations tweeted a message that 1700 residents in my area were without power, that it was an equipment failure, and that hydro (our power supplier) was working on it.

So, I have to say, it is pretty cool to have a SmartPhone, and to be able to figure out what is going on. I also have gained a bit more of an appreciation for being able to work when the power is out, but alas it is now late and time to sleep. If only I could remember which of the lights I had turned ON when the power went out!

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