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Ubiquitous Learning
Mobile devices in education
Curated by Mark Pegrum
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Flu Season: How We Fall Sick And Recover | The Jawbone Blog

Flu season is here, and the Jawbone Data Science team looks at anonymized data from Jawbone's fitness tracker and UP App to uncover the key to sickness and recovery.
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When wearables meet big data, interesting insights start to emerge.

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Best Learning Apps of 2015

Best Learning Apps of 2015 | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
These 12 stood out as some of the most innovative, effective, and enjoyable tools for mobile platforms.
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Some apps worth checking out

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16 mobile theses

We’re now coming up to 9 years since the launch of the iPhone kicked off
the smartphone revolution, and some of the first phases are over - Apple
and Google both won the platform war, mostly, Facebook made the transition,
mostly, and it’s now perfectly clear that mobile is the future of
technology and of the internet. But within that, there's a huge range of
different themes and issues, many of which are still pretty unsettled. 

In this post, I outline what I think are the 16 topics to think about
within the current generation, and then link to the things I’ve written
about them. In January, I’ll dig into some of the themes for the future -
VR, AR, drones and AI, but this is where we are today. 

See here to listen to the podcast we did around this. 

 

1: Mobile is the new central ecosystem of tech

Each new generation of technology - each new ecosystem - is a step change
in scale, and that new scale makes it the centre of innovation and
investment in hardware, software and company creation. The mobile
ecosystem, now, is heading towards perhaps 10x the scale of the PC
industry, and mobile is not just a new thing or a big thing, but that new
generation, whose scale makes it the new centre of gravity of the tech
industry. Almost everything else will orbit around it. 

The smartphone is the new sun

Resetting the score

 

2: Mobile is the internet

We should stop talking about ‘mobile’ internet and ‘desktop’ internet - 
it’s like talking about ‘colour’ TV, as opposed to black and white TV. We
have a mental mode, left over from feature phones, that ‘mobile’ means
limited devices that are only used walking around. But actually,
smartphones are mostly used when you’re sitting down next to a laptop, not
‘mobile’, and their capabilities make them much more sophisticated as
internet platforms than PC. Really, it’s the PC that has the limited,
cut-down version of the internet. 

Forget about the mobile internet

Mobile first

What would you miss?

 

3: Mobile isn’t about small screens and PCs aren’t about keyboards - mobile
means an ecosystem and that ecosystem will swallow ‘PCs’

When we say 'mobile' we don't mean mobile, just as when we said 'PCs' we
didn't mean ‘personal’. ‘Mobile’ isn't about the screen size or keyboard or
location or use. Rather, the ecosystem of ARM, iOS and Android, with 10x
the scale of ‘Wintel’, will become the new centre of gravity throughout
computing. This means that ‘mobile’ devices will take over more and more of
what we use ‘PCs’ for, gaining larger screens and keyboards, sometimes, and
more and more powerful software, all driven by the irresistible force of a
much larger ecosystem, which will suck in all of the investment and
innovation. 

Mobile, ecosystems and the death of PCs

 

4: The future of productivity

Will you always need a mouse and keyboard and Excel or Powerpoint for ‘real
work’? Probably not - those will linger on for a long time for tens of
millions of core users, but not the other billions - computing and
productivity has changed radically before and will change again. Big
screens will last, for some, and maybe keyboards, for some, but all the
software will change. It will move to the cloud, and onto mobile devices
(with large or small screens), and be reshaped by them. The core question -
is typing, or making presentations, actually your job, or just a tool you
use to get your actual job done? What matters is the connective tissue of a
company - the verbs that move things along. Those can be done in new ways. 

Office, messaging and verbs

Podcast: Slack

Tablets, PCs and Office

 

5: Microsoft's capitulation

Microsoft missed the shift to the new platform. Xbox is non-core, Windows
Mobile is on life support, Windows 10 is a good prop for the legacy
business that can slow but not prevent this change, and Satya Nadella has
explicitly stated that the decades-old strategy of ‘Windows Everywhere’ -
of trying to be the universal platform - is over. That doesn’t remotely
mean that Microsoft is dead, but it has to work out how to use the cash and
market position of the legacy monopolies to help it build new businesses.
That’s a big change from the past, where everything was about building
Windows and Office. But it’s not quite clear what those new businesses will
look like - Microsoft has to try to reinvent the connective tissue of the
enterprise. 

Microsoft, capitulation and the end of Windows Everywhere

 

6: Apple & Google both won, but it’s complicated

The mobile generation is unusual in that we seem to have two winners - both
Apple and Google won, in different ways. Conventionally, the bigger
ecosystem wins and sucks all activity into its orbit, but Apple’s ecosystem
has perhaps 800m active users, far larger than in previous generations, and
has perhaps half of global mobile browsing and two thirds or more of app
store revenue (a good proxy for overall economic activity). Android has
more users but Apple has more of the ‘best’ users (from a developers’
perspective). 

Indeed, one can also ask whether Google rather than Apple has a problem -
Google’s existential need is reach, and both iOS and Android give it reach,
but the reach it has on iOS is limited by what Apple will allow. And less
than a quarter of iPhone users have bothered to install Google Maps. 
Conversely, Apple’s weakness in cloud services and AI may end up becoming
an equivalent strategic problem over time. 

Ecosystem Maths

How many ecosystems?

What does Google need in mobile?

 

7: Search and discovery

The internet makes it possible to get anything you've ever heard of but
also makes it impossible to have heard of everything. It allows anyone to
be heard, but how do people hear of you? We started with browsing, and that
didn’t scale to the internet, and then we moved to search, but search can
only give you what you already knew you wanted. In the past, print and
retail showed us what there was but also gave us a filter - now both the
filter and the demand generation are gone. So, who has the traffic, and
where do they send it? How do AI, or discovery, or the platforms themselves
fit into this?  How much curation, and where? How do you get users?

Search, discovery and marketing

Google Now, Maps and Apple Music

Platforms, distribution and audience

Bay Area problems

Mobile is not a neutral platform

 

8: Apps and the web

There's an involved, technical and (for people like me) fascinating
conversation in tech about smartphone apps and the web - what can each do,
how discovery works, how they interplay, what Google plans with Chrome,
whether the web will take over as the dominant form and so on. But for an
actual brand, developer or publisher wondering if they should do an app or
a website, the calculation is much simpler and less technical: ‘Do people
want to put your icon on their home screen?’ 

Apps versus the web

 

9: Post Netscape, post PageRank, looking for the next run-time

For 15 years the internet was a monolith: web browser + mouse + keyboard.
There were other options, but for most normal consumers the web and the
internet were practically the same thing. The smartphone broke that apart,
but we haven’t settled on a new model. Competition between Apple and
Google, with Facebook trying to butt in, plus all the unrealised
possibilities of a new medium, means the interaction models of mobile keep
changing. Really, we’re looking for a new run-time - a new way, after the
web and native apps, to build services. That might be Siri or Now or
messaging or maps or notifications or something else again. But the
underlying aim is to construct a new search and discovery model - a new
way, different to the web or app stores, to get users.  

Apps versus the web

App unbundling, search and discovery

Mobile is not a neutral platform

 

10: Messaging as a platform, and a way to get customers. 

A big part of this hunt for a new runtime, and a new discovery layer, is
messaging. Facebook almost built this on the desktop and WeChat has managed
to build it on mobile in China. By turning messaging into a development
environment, you create an alternative to the web or the app store, but
without the binary installation problem of apps (‘is it installed or not?’)
and with your own new discovery and user acquisition platform. An important
strand of this is unbundling services - you unbundle content from apps into
messaging (or notifications) and you also unbundle messages from websites
(via email or apps) into your messaging platform, turning it into the new
connective tissue of your phone. At least, that’s the idea. 

Facebook and a few others want to do this outside China, but haven’t
managed yet (and building layers onto the OS is tough for anyone other than
the OS owner), and Apple and Google are also pondering how to take this
forward. 

Messaging and mobile platforms

Podcast: messaging and mobile platforms

WhatsApp sails past SMS, but where does messaging go next?

See also this primer on WeChat from my colleague Connie Chan

 

11: The unclear future of Android and the OEM world

Android won the handset market outside of Apple, but it’s not quite clear
what that means. Attempts to make a straight ‘fork’ of Android (e.g. Kindle
Fire) fail on lack of access to Google’s services, but that doesn’t mean
no-one can create a mostly non-Google experience - this is what Xiaomi and
its imitators are doing and why Cyanogen is enabling as well.  And this
matters, because the OS, more and more, is a route to discovery of services
- if you control the OS you can shape what people do, far more than you
could on the desktop web.. 

Amazon and Android forks

Why do we care about Xiaomi?

Android taxonomies

 

12: Internet of Things

Our grandparents could have told you how many electric motors they owned -
there was one in the car, one in the fridge and so on, and they owned maybe
a dozen. In the same way, we know roughly how many devices we own with a
network connection, and, again, our children won’t. Many of those uses
cases will seem silly to us, just as our grandparents would laugh at the
idea of a button to lower a car window, but the sheer range and cheapness
of sensors and components, mostly coming out of the smartphone supply
chain, will make them ubiquitous and invisible - we’ll forget about them
just as we’ve forgotten about electric motors. 

This means, I think, that talk of standards for IoT misses the point -
‘connected to a network’ is no more a category’ than ‘contains a motor’,
and there will be many different platforms and standards. More important is
the fact that, especially in the enterprise, this explosion in sensors
means an explosion in data - we’ll know far more about far more, and that
allows fundamental system redesign. 

The internet of things

The home and the mobile supply chain

The industrial internet

 

13: Cars

The move to electric and the move (if and when) to autonomous, self-driving
cars fundamentally change what a car is, but also what the whole automotive
system might look like. Electricity changes the mechanical complexity of
cars and hence changes who might build them and what they might look like.
Autonomy and on-demand services change who buys them, meaning the buying
criteria will be different. But they could also change the urban landscape
just as much as cars themselves did - what do mass-market retail or
restaurants look like if no-one needs to park?

Ways to think about cars

Podcast: ways to think about cars

 

14: TV and the living room

The tech industry spent a quarter-century trying to get to the TV set to
take it online - that was going to be the mass-market computer. Now it
looks like this might finally be happening, but it’s almost a side-show -
Microsoft declares Xbox is no longer a strategic asset, TVs are accessories
to the smartphone, and it’s the smartphone, not the TV or PC, that
delivered the computing revolution and took computing into the living
room. 

TV, mobile and the living room

Notes on TV

 

15: Watches

Watches are maybe the most puzzling satellite in the smartphone solar
system. In theory they should be everything - the aim of every scifi
fantasy - yet today it’s easy to dismiss them as pointless toys. To me,
they’re an accessory - a useful and pleasing adjunct to your smartphone,
but they’re still very early. 

How is the Apple Watch doing? 

Why is Apple making a gold watch?

Ways to think about watches

 

16: Finally, we are not our users

The future is unevenly distributed, but so is understanding and interest in
it. In the tech industry we’re comfortable living with the latest things
and presume that everyone else does. But really, these services are
accessories and enablers of people’s lives, and they look at them
differently for what they can do for them. So most iPhone users don’t use
Google Maps, most people don’t use a calendar at all, and audio cassettes
are making a comeback, as normal people take ownership of the tech in their
lives and shape it to their needs. 

How many people care about Google Services?

In search of objects

Living in different worlds
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11 everyday things the iPhone has made obsolete

11 everyday things the iPhone has made obsolete | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
The first iPhone was released in 2007, and...
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A reminder of some of the multiple tasks performed by our smartphones

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Why Hearables May Be The Next Big Thing In Tech

Why Hearables May Be The Next Big Thing In Tech | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
Can you hear the approach of this nascent industry?
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From wearables to hearables!

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More people have died from selfies than shark attacks this year

More people have died from selfies than shark attacks this year | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
The leading cause of selfie-related death was falling.
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A sobering statistic

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What should parents know about Instagram?

What should parents know about Instagram? | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
Common Sense Media helps you deal with tough Facebook, Instagram, and Social questions like: "How do I keep up with the latest social apps and sites teens are using?"
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Here's how many hours you'll have to work to afford that new iPhone

Here's how many hours you'll have to work to afford that new iPhone | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
Mark Pegrum's insight:

Smartphones remain relatively so much cheaper in the developed world

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Google has hired a bunch of engineers from Amazon's Lab 126 for a new wearable tech initiative called 'Project Aura'

Google has hired a bunch of engineers from Amazon's Lab 126 for a new wearable tech initiative called 'Project Aura' | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
Google is working on a new wearable technology...
Mark Pegrum's insight:

Watch this space for more developments in wearables!

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5 Killer Types Of Wearable Apps For Companies

5 Killer Types Of Wearable Apps For Companies | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
How body-worn devices will influence the workplace.
Mark Pegrum's insight:

This is the world of work for which we'll increasingly need to prepare our students. If wearables belong in the workplace, then they should also have a place in the classroom.

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Banning and unbanning phones in schools

Banning and unbanning phones in schools | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it

Forbidden ... or encouraged? When planning for new initiatives that will introduce and/or utilize information and communications technologies (ICTs) in some way, a simple general rule of thumb is worth considering: The best technology is often the one you already have, know how to (and do) use, and can afford. In many places around the world, this technology is the mobile phone. This is not to contend that 'new' technology devices should not be considered -- far from it! ...

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Wearables at work

Wearables at work | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
Mark Pegrum's insight:

Views on the integration of wearable technologies into the workplace. And if they're going to be integrated into the workplace, they should be integrated into education first!

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Facebook: The phone number is dying

Facebook: The phone number is dying | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
Facebook Messenger is growing fast -- and...
Mark Pegrum's insight:

The death of the phone number seems pretty likely to me.

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Wearables Move Beyond The Hand, Onto The Foot

Wearables Move Beyond The Hand, Onto The Foot | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
Some of the most interesting wearables take a step forward.
Mark Pegrum's insight:

The wearables market continues to expand, as do the possibilities for enhancing living and learning with technology.

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Having an app isn’t enough: The next phase of mobile now that everybody has a smartphone - Business Insider

Having an app isn’t enough: The next phase of mobile now that everybody has a smartphone - Business Insider | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
Having an app isn’t enough: The next phase of mobile now that everybody has a smartphone
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Tweens, Teens, and Screens: What Our New Research Uncovers

Tweens, Teens, and Screens: What Our New Research Uncovers | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
Advice from Common Sense Media editors. By taking a "census" of kids' media use, Common Sense's new study quantifies screen use, identifies unique types of users, and uncovers patterns that could spark improvements in content, access, and learning.
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How Wearables Will Revolutionize the Workplace

How Wearables Will Revolutionize the Workplace | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
For bodyworn gizmos, the enterprise says beam me up.
Mark Pegrum's insight:

More about the coming world of work for which we need to be preparing our students

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New issue of Gender and Mobiles Newsletter: Focus on the Philippines, Brazil, Tanzania and Uganda

New issue of Gender and Mobiles Newsletter: Focus on the Philippines, Brazil, Tanzania and Uganda | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
Mark Pegrum's insight:

As always, a useful roundup of mobile use by women around the world.

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EU, China partner to make 5G a “reality by 2020”

EU, China partner to make 5G a “reality by 2020” | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
The EU and China announced a 5G partnership at the recent EU-China High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue in Beijing.
Mark Pegrum's insight:

So, we could have 5G networks within 5 years!

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The mobile web is slowly dying

The mobile web is slowly dying | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
Mark Pegrum's insight:

This chart makes it clear that smart device users are continuing to migrate away from the mobile web and towards apps. That in turn has some important implications - including benefits and drawbacks - for education.

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AroiaKortabitarte's curator insight, January 6, 5:33 AM

Software aplikazioen erabilera hazten doa.

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4 Ways You Can Blend E-learning Courses with M-Learning

4 Ways You Can Blend E-learning Courses with M-Learning | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
This blog post shares about several ways to blend e-learning with m-learning.
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This graphic shows how much an iPhone costs around the world — and the differences are striking

This graphic shows how much an iPhone costs around the world — and the differences are striking | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
This graphic shows how much an iPhone costs — and what percentage that is of the average income — in various countries.
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What Augmented Reality Is—And Isn't

What Augmented Reality Is—And Isn't | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
We need a better definition.
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Some interesting reflections on how we should define augmented reality, and where it might take us.

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Google Glass is back! But now it's for businesses?

Google Glass is back! But now it's for businesses? | Ubiquitous Learning | Scoop.it
Head-mounted wearable computer is returning to the market, but this time aimed squarely at business users rather than consumers
Mark Pegrum's insight:

The much-anticipated relaunch of Google Glass appears to be happening, but initially it's aimed squarely at business.

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