Friday, October 10, 2008

What Makes a Good Phone for Education Pt1

Now that all the dust has settled with the iPhone, it is great to see the impact it has had on the Mobile industry. There are new innovative phones including the Nokia Xpress 5800, the Sony Ericsson Xperia and of course the G1 (see below). With all these new phones I thought it was about time to place a stick in the sand and start to look at what I think is essential for a phone for education.

1) Wifi
2) Flash enabled browser
3) Full QWERTY keyboard
4) Video capture
5) Media Player
6) Removable storage
7) Mini usb connection
8) 3.5mm A/V connection

I will now try and explain why I have chosen these.

The wifi is essential as data charges are still very high and I kind of guess there will always be a charge associated with it, which is only fair. But from a teaching point of view if the children use their phones for education, who pays for the data used? The easy way is to hook the phones onto the schools wifi network.

I have not just said browser, but carefully chosen the wording, flash enabled. There is only one mobile browser that is flash enabled and that is called skyfire. Unfortunately, it only available in the US and is in beta. Browsing the web without flash (this is a plugin and is downloaded automatically when you visit a site with flash content, normally sites that have video on them) is like looking through a pair of dirty glasses. You get some of the picture, but there are parts you just can't see.

We know children are good at using the standard phone keypad to text, but if you asked them to type in a web address, believe me I think that the novelty of being able to use the phone keypad would soon wear off. I think that the a virtual keyboard (like the iPhone) would be as good, if not better than a physical one that the Blackberry phones have.

From experience and talking with other teachers, video capture is just so good for children and creativity, enough said. Oh the iPhone doesn't have it!

The media player, well if you can create the content, you need to see it. Although I would add that the media player should be able to play all media, not just created on or for phones.

As you create more content, there is a real need for storage, but again I have been careful with the wording and added removable. This means like a memory card, similar to the ones used in digital cameras. If it's not removable, like the iPhone, then when you run out, that's it.

The mini usb connection is an industry standard that it used to connect devices together. But more importantly it can also be used as the charger connection. How good would that be to have a charger that could charge more than one type of phone, instead of having a Nokia charger and a Sony Ericsson charger etc.

Again the 3.5mm connection is also industry standard and will not only allow the children to use their standard headphones, but if they forget, any headphone will fit it. Again the school would only need to have one type of TV out cable that could be plugged into any of the children's phones, instead of them having to bring in their phone specific cables.

This is just the start of my thought and ranting. We could be looking at What makes a good Educational Phone for Education Pt52!

What do you think? Are all these needed or are there other things that need to be added to the list?


danyan.fernando said...

What about videos yeah i got all of the but not USB connection

Do We need Bluetooth

christopher.rees-gibbs said...

1.wifi camera

3.educational games


5.full what ever it is keyboard player

7. removable storage usb connection

Sahil said...

I agree.
but they need atleast 2-3 gb of storage