Mobiles come in many sizes and with a wide variety of features, ranging from small smart phones to iPads, to laptops, and now two-screen devices. What defines a “mobile” for education is that it is an individual device which a student can keep with her as she moves from location to location. A Wired Campus article last week describes two new mobiles, the Know and the Edge, that are being introduced this fall to enhance mobile textbook use by having two screens.
While the Kindle has largely failed with students as a replacement for printed textbooks, some colleges plan to test new e-reader devices whose promoters argue that two screens are better than one. . . . Like the Kno, the Edge primarily serves as a textbook reader, although it also offers applications, because it relies on Google’s open-source Android platform. Both devices feature Web browsing, e-mail access, and audio recording.
Note in the excerpts above that both of the two-screen mobiles being introduced include Web browsing, which is the second of the two keys that allow a student to take schooling into his own hands. The first key is having his own mobile device which cuts his learning loose from computers that are wired down to a physical location. The second key is the ability to use that device to connect with the unlimited knowledge resources that lie within the open internet cloud beyond the downloaded learning applications and content on his mobile.