When I first saw the iPhone, I was so excited, because I started thinking that this will be the device(or one close to it) that will be the portable device for our students for classroom use.
Today’s release of some new Apple products, including the iPod Touch (basically an iPhone without the phone part, or an iPod with internet) makes me think that day is one day closer.
I recently watched a fascinating interview that Robert Scoble did with computer science professor Eliot Soloway, which Dean Shareski had featured on his blog. Soloway ran away with the idea that the cell phone is the device of the future.
My husband told me today that people at work were talking about the new, free Google phone. I look it up, and voila–it’s about to be released in 2008, according to this.
Now why would all of this be exciting to a librarian? Because the notion that people can inexpensively and readily have access to information, resources, online books, wikis, blogs, from wherever they are, is fascinating to me. Will libraries and what we do continue to change because of this? Sure we will. Do we need to be planning ahead for these changes? Sure we do.
But part of being a librarian is all about access and helping people have access to information. Libraries began as a way to help people have access to information. So the concept that people will have more and more choices for doing that is a huge positive.
Will classrooms also change because of this? Sure they will.
For example, we’ve been struggling a bit on campus with lacking enough classroom computers for student use. Imagine if we handed five of the iPod Touch to each teacher for their class–less expensive, wireless devices that are portable and can go outside for a science experiment or on a field trip?
We have an increasingly important job helping students be savvy users of information, savvy with email, savvy at protecting their privacy, and savvy about their networks. We can’t really know what the device is going to be, but when information is available on demand, all the time, to everyone (across the digital divide), then we need them to be prepared and wise users of that information.
The other good news in today’s announcement?–now that the price of the iPhone has gone down, I can get one! 🙂
Image credit: Sullivan, Justin. Getty Images