Thursday, 3 September 2009

Nokia Booklet 3g - a breakthrough for anywhere anytime learning in (and out of) schools

‘Anytime Anywhere’ learning permeates many documents related to the visions of new Academies, within School Strategy for Changes and local Authority Strategy for Change 2 documents within the BSF programme but providing the technology to support this aspiration has always been a challenge.

Affordability and device functionality are key compromises within the battle to meet this ‘Anytime Anywhere’ aspiration and also to support sustainability through maintaining refresh levels in the ICT Managed Service provision.

Learners will use many types of device in their learning. In some contexts a small handheld device is sufficient to provide the information or functionality required. In other contexts, large screens and significant processing power is required and provided through a large desktop device.

Mobile phone functionality has increased significantly in recent years and I personally have got on really well with Mobile devices that run Windows Mobile Software (Versions 5 and 6) with synchronisation to Web based email and Outlook services a real asset.

My laptop use in the field is enhanced by the use of a 3G ‘Dongle’ to provide connectivity to web based services and resources. I have also had to enhance my laptop by adding a supplementary battery which replaces the CD/DVD drive when in use. This helps me to be productive for longer in the many situations where I am unable to plug into mains power.

Youngsters have these same difficulties and frustrations where technology is short of the mark in terms of connectivity and battery power. Functional Specifications go some way to ensuring that the right performance is provided during the procurement stages and it is good to see the many framework providers offering a comprehensive product range.

So it is combinations of technology that help us to be successful as a Professional and as a Student.

Other products developed to help us to select ‘fit for purpose’ devices included the netbook. Original designs offered cheap methods of browsing the internet, but less functionality than that offered by a laptop computer.

This product range is now developing further and will require additional decisions about the most appropriate combinations of technology to be selected. Personal preferences will play a big part along with functionality here.

A recent development soon to hit the market place is the new NOKIA BOOKLET 3G. The specifications have not been revealed to us yet but we do know that it is of notebook size and has some additional attractive features to influence our thinking and decisions.

One feature is integrated connectivity functionality to avoid the need for external dongles that I mentioned I used earlier. Another feature is significantly longer battery life reported to be in the order of 12 hours. Both of these features go a significant way to supporting the ‘Anytime Anywhere’ aspirations for learners in 21st Century Schools and I look forward to hearing more about this product when it arrives in the market place.

Follow the link to have a look at the promotional video but please note the small print that *specifications are subject to change.

Brendan Geoghegan