I don’t know a single person who’s recently bought a desktop computer.
Combine that anecdote with the stats showing that for the first time more smartphones were sold than PCs and another that shows over the Christmas season of 2011, the number of people who owned either a tablet or an ereader doubled from 10% to approximately 19% and you can see that the computing world is in complete flux these days.
We want to take our technology with us.
Is it the data that we want to have with us, our files and pictures, or the ability to connect with others? Both?
A couple of years ago, this video was making the rounds at conferences and it seems like we are fully arriving at this point:
Our data, our connections, our services, our media, our learning. We want to take it with us. We want access no matter where we are. We what to switch from work to play and back again quickly and easily. A desktop computer used to sit in the corner of a room in our homes. It had its own desk. It was a place. Like the internet, it was a destination all its own. It was someplace you went to. “Going online” used to be a saying. I’m not sure it even applies anymore. We’re surrounded by devices that slip between internet access and media consumption seamlessly.
How do these societal trends change learning? How do they change how we need to structure classrooms? Are complete labs filled with computers an outdated model? Do we need infrastructure that is more seamless? Are classes that are focused purely on computers and technology an outdated model? Do we need more integrated systems?
Are schools still pursuing the desktop model of learning? Learning as a place, a thing that is separate and sits off in the corner all on its own when really we should be looking at something much more integrated and faster moving?
New technologies make new things possible. They allow us to move in new directions and consider new possibilities. We need to keep moving.