What are Cellular Networks?


The boundaries between cellular networks and the Internet are blurring. Increasingly, and more so in the developing world, the "on ramp" to the Internet is a mobile device accessing the Internet via a cellular network that extends significantly beyond even the electric grid. The 3G cellular networks support broadband Internet, and with self-contained power, can be deployed in even the most remote locations. As the network expands, mobiles are increasingly the access point not only for common tools and communications, but also for information of all kinds, training materials, and more. Because they are always connected, many people are beginning to look to mobile computing platforms as their device of choice. For this group, mobile computing devices are more affordable, more accessible, and easier to use than desktop computers, and provide more than enough functionality to serve as their primary computing device.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - alan alan Jan 27, 2010

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • This is an inevitable and key component of where we need to go in STEM education (and in education in general). For many years we have been working to facilitate "student-directed" learning in science (and in the other elements that comprise STEM) but haven't successfully done so at any scale that persisted in schools. This technology has the potential to do that because ultimately it removes the choice of who is "in charge" of the learning from the hands of the teacher and puts it in the hands of the students. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 6, 2010
  • another response here

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • One of the things that is missing from this description is that this technology provides access for learners to real STEM investigations. To explain more, yes, the technology provides access to tools and information, but also, the technology becomes itself a tool that learners can use to engage in actual studies in the spirit of "citizen science" projects and other kinds of collaborative learning endeavors. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 6, 2010
  • I think this category should be combined with mobiles rather than a separate technology. - garry.putland garry.putland Feb 9, 2010

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • Not a 'new' trend. When these merges seamlessly, there are likely to be a proliferation of devices, and a push for development of applications for them. Most of these 'products' are likely to be within the social/living spaces, compared to education space. Question for educators is whether they are ready to tap into this environment for teaching and learning purposes, or would they tell the kids to keep their devices and focus on the chalk board :P. - horncheah horncheah Feb 4, 2010
  • I agree that this technology isn't 'new' in itself. But the regular use of this technology in learning environments - formal and informal - is 'new' - and not yet happening. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 6, 2010
  • another response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon K-12 Project form.