Thursday, March 05, 2009

Mobile internet devices

Mobiles, netbooks and cloud computing are all identified as the top ten trends for ICT in education, the future of the internet and the latest NZ horizon report via Derek Wenmouth's blog.

Mobile internet devices (MIDs) are a progression from netbooks. These devices do not have mobile phone functions but provide easy access to the internet. Nvidia has announced the launch of a range of MIDs including a US$99 HD Mobile Internet Device called the Tegra.
The Tegra MID delivers 720p and 1080p video playback, full Wi-Fi & 3G connectivity, software that supports web 2.0 applications, software solution that includes MS Windows CE OS & long battery life.

If the price tag of under US$100 eventuates and the device actually makes it into the NZ market, this will be a good device to trial for our mlearning pilots. The main advantages will be the cost (less than for netbooks) and the ability to surf the web. I will plan to trial a blended type course using the technology. In particular, to find out how distance students & students in several geographically separated sites could work together on projects that could assist with better learning.

Added to the above is news that Nokia might be getting into the laptop / netbook market. Nokia’s newest smart phone, the nokia n97 is being promoted as the nearest thing a mobile phone gets to being a computer. However the price at €550 (NZ$1340) before taxes etc plus a lukewarm review will mean that this is beyond the reach of all of the mlearning pilot target student profile.