Think back 20 years. Pay phones still worked, and only doctors carried pagers. Laptops weighed as much as bowling balls, and few of us had Internet access. In fact, much of what we now consider commonplace -- Google, email, WiFi, texting -- was not even possible. If that was 20 years ago, where are we going in the next 20?
We are all going mobile! Tablets, smartphones, Chromebooks -- and yet, these devices only serve as the most recent iteration of mobile technology in the classroom. Remember Netbooks? How about those old-school Macbooks that looked like toilet seat covers? What if we go back further? What about chalk and slate?
The writing slate was in use in Indian schools in the 11th century as mentioned in Alberuni's Indica (Tarikh Al-Hind), written in the early 11th century. (Source: Wikipedia)
In essence, we have always had mobile tools in the classroom, but our current devices offer significantly more capabilities while also advancing at an appreciably more rapid rate. If, in the past 20 years, we've gone from green screens to Google Glass, where will we be in the next 20? Think about the tools that you had available when you were the same age as your students, and now imagine what may be possible when they are our age! How will we prepare our students for what has yet to even be imagined? What if, instead of focusing on the current tools of the mobile classroom, we hone in on skills -- the same ones that we've actually been teaching all along?