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The Essential Mobile Teaching (and Learning) Platform?
June 1, 2011 - 9:45pm

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:

  1. Have the form factor be small enough that you can carry your mobile platform everywhere you go.
  2. 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.
  3. Ensure ubiquitous access to the Web.

What mobile platform would you buy?

Options:

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?

 

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