Thought experiment. You are teaching a course that has a significant online (distance) component. Your mobile platform will be used to access both the LMS (learning management system) and e-mail for responding to students. You are not looking for a main laptop replacement, and will not be doing course authoring or virtual meetings with this mobile platform.
You want to be able to accomplish the following tasks:
- Have the form factor be small enough that you can carry your mobile platform everywhere you go.
- Have the ability to enter text into discussion boards or blog posts in the LMS from your mobile platform, as well as to respond to e-mails.
- Ensure ubiquitous access to the Web.
What mobile platform would you buy?
iPad Wi-Fi + 3G
Pros: Big enough so that LMS displays well through the browser. Virtual keyboard okay for typing. Thin and light.
Cons: Too big to put in pocket. Keyboard only okay. No flash support (your courses have flash video).
Google Chromebook 3G
Pros: Full keyboard and screen. True browser experience with flash. Smaller, lighter and better battery life than most laptops.
Cons: Too big to put in pocket. Why not just get a good small laptop with cellular modem?
SmartPhone: Android or iPhone or iPod Touch
Pros: Small form factor - can be placed in pocket.
Cons: Browser is small. Mobile LMS apps not yet fully developed, and may not be deployed. Typing is a challenge.
What mobile teaching (or learning) platform do you buy?
Are any good options left off this list?