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 of it is 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 25, 2011

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

  • More cell phones than laptops with internet access (world wide) makes this technology highly relevant for the K12 area. - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen Feb 22, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011 - roger.blamire roger.blamire Feb 27, 2011
  • add your response here

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

  • It is important to acknowledge that in addition to increasing significance in the developing world, the access that cellular networks provide for those that live with sparse resources here in our country, particularly those in rural and urban areas, is also significant. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 19, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011
  • The title for this perhaps could be integrated networks rather than mobile networks. - horncheah horncheah Feb 24, 2011
  • I agree with Horncheah. 69% of US online consumers have more than one pc/device so it’s hard to distinguish between the networks.- claus.gregersen claus.gregersen Feb 27, 2011
  • Portable devices like smartphones and tablets switch to the local WiFi network when available which might offer schools an opportunity to control the content. The impact of the cellular (mobile) network is that it allows the local (wireless) LAN to be bypassed by individual students and faculty.- brandt.redd brandt.redd Feb 24, 2011
  • Important to mention the trend towards lower costs for mobile data, including always on deals, making it affordable to young people adn essential for social networking. - roger.blamire roger.blamire Feb 27, 2011

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

  • I think the rollout of 4G networks over the next several years has the potential to shake up the mobile space even further. Once 4G is pervasive, the information and media we can access and manipulate over these networks has the potential to open up new avenues of creative use as the bandwidth starts to become less of an issue (and of course data caps will have to be re-examined by carriers. This will probably be the barrier instead of bandwidth) http://www.appolicious.com/finance/articles/3426-nine-things-you-need-to-know-about-4g-networks - KeeneH KeeneH Feb 15, 2011
  • This will be increasingly important as many schools are facing budget challenges and are thinking of ways to let students bring their own devices to school and piggyback off of existing networks. There is still a digital divide when it comes to access to broadband that needs to be addressed. alice.owen- alice.owen alice.owen Feb 19, 2011 - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011
  • Unlike much of the world, the 800 lb gorilla in the United States classrooms are the existing policies banning cellular devices. Alice's comment is on target as a potential plus, but many administrators see banning as the legally prudent thing to do given recent law suits. http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2010/11/ten-building-blocks-to-break-ban-and.html - bwatwood bwatwood Feb 21, 2011
  • Thanks to the iPAD, devices that operate within an integrated mobile/internet space are fast becoming life-style devices. As such, it is conceivable that students will increasingly be bringing such devices into the classroom. This allows for greater connectivity with learning resources/expertise beyond the classroom, and is likely to force a re-think of how teaching and learning interactions can take place (within the classroom). The challenge to educators is 3-fold - how to 'design'/'construct' a learning environment in such a connectivity-based environment; how to facilitate learning in this environment, and how to provide a good balance of perspectives as students navigate beyond the classroom. - horncheah horncheah Feb 24, 2011
  • Creation of Apps for learning is a burgeoning field and could also be elaborated on, particularly with the potential to support special learning needs http://graceappforautismoniphone.blogspot.com/2010/12/international-m-learning-education.html - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Feb 26, 2011

(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.