By Mark Geary


March 6, 2009

Bill Gates has been quoted as saying (before iPhone) “The computer of the future will be the cellphone.” The implications for educators is profound, and should have us re-thinking our attitudes and acceptance of cell phones in the school. I am not blind to the fact that there are sometimes problems associated with the cellphone in the schools, but we should address those by addressing the behavior, not the object. We don’t take away a pencil the student is tapping, we address the tapping behavior.
As an administrator for highly at-risk students in a Cincinnati charter high school, I found it much easier to have students use Google SMS to look up words and definitions when they were struggling with reading than using a book. Very few of these students would be caught carrying books home, but they would use their cell phone to help complete assignments.
As we look at HOW cellphones may be implemented today, we also look at Adobe and their role. Captivate lets us easily create micro-content with quizzes, saved in Flash. Flash itself let’s students see, create and engage with interactive simulations and games that can have a profound effect on learning. Many Web 2.0 sites are built in Flash, and extend the capabilities of the cellphone beyond what we would have thought possible a few years ago.
The typical smartphone has camera, video, keyboard and voice inputs. It has, through Web 2.0 apps, text (Jott), voice (gabcast) and picture (Flickr) outputs. Starts sounding a lot like a computer doesn’t it? Where will that lead us?
To read more, see an article I wrote for the Florida Education Leadership magazine.
Mark Geary


  • By Emily - 2:47 AM on March 14, 2009  

    It’s a lot more common for a kid to have a car in high school than it used to be, so parents want to be able to keep in touch with their children

  • By Tessa - 9:24 AM on March 16, 2009  

    we as a student should be able to use cell phones in school

  • By Dustin - 12:24 PM on February 26, 2010  

    I agree cell phones should be allowed in school. I’m a high school senior and I have plenty of friends that constantly get in school suspension just for having a phone inside the walls of my school. I think if the school boards would spend more time trying to benefit from the uses of a phone in school instead of wasting time trying to get rid of the phones when clearly they aren’t going to succeed. The use of cell phones and the applications that could help with education is only going to increase as we ascend farthur into the future and I think we should embrace our technical society and come up with positive reasons that these devices could be used

  • By Deandrea Rumler - 4:55 PM on April 3, 2010  

    Who would have thought that mobiles phones would revolutionize the world in such two short decades? From the size of a toaster just a few years ago to sophisticated communication devices with amazing functionalities.

  • By Bredband - 5:44 AM on May 4, 2010  

    Awesome post, how much time does it take to compose a post like this one?

  • By Mark Geary - 8:09 AM on May 4, 2010  

    Writing the post was a couple of hours. Researching the information was a couple of years.