Kindle Fire, Asus Transformer, iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, iPhone 3G, iPod Touch, iPad, Dell Mini
I read somewhere that education must adapt to meet the way information and knowledge are delivered and transmitted in today’s always connected world. The article says there should be less emphasis on memorization for its own sake; less focus on remembering things that would not contribute to the real world or for that matter, the future world.
The basis of this notion is that information just follows us around nowadays. Answers to whatever question are a few keystrokes, a couple of swipes or a voice command away. The accumulated knowledge of humankind doesn’t have to be kept within the gray matter or within the four walls of libraries; it can stay, alive and moving, along the white matter of the cloud. People don’t have to painstakingly search for a piece of information anymore. Information simply flows from one device to another, patiently seeking out the person, the group, the tribe or the organization that would invoke it from whatever piece of electronics they are currently holding.
I don’t think this means we stop studying history, or that people who have a natural inclination to remember dates and details have to do so. It just means that you probably don’t have to know exactly when something happened. You just need to know it enough to be able to pull it later on and discern whether it’s correct or not.
I’ve been in love with this idea of portability and quick access to information. I like the idea of being able to move around the house and read, watch and listen in the any room, check and re-check the feeds, emails and the updates from wherever.
I bought a Dell Mini three years ago because I wanted something smaller and cheaper than a laptop that we could use for light web browsing and quick emails. It runs on Ubuntu OS and we still use it today if we need something handy.
I personally use the iPad and the iPhone 4s, Faye has the iPhone 4, Rakesh has the iPod Touch and I gave Kareena my old iPhone 3G so she can use it like an iPod Touch. Yes, we love Apple devices.
Faye uses an Asus Transformer tablet because we wanted something that can handle flash. The Asus is an impressive tablet – it is well designed and well made. The complete Android integration with everything Google was also a welcome surprise as Gmail, Calendar, Contacts and Picasa web albums automatically load into the device. I must admit I wanted it for myself after I played with it.
Our latest toy is Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The tablet integrates with everything Amazon as your Kindle books, mp3s in the Amazon Cloud Player, Amazon Prime streaming videos and all of Amazon’s merchandise and content automatically sync. This 7-inch tablet is not as full featured as the Asus and iPad but it is likewise a wonderful and fully functional device. Rakesh has even started reading Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus on it.
Now, we only have one TV and we dropped cable almost a year ago. We only watch shows through Netflix and Hulu. So even though I’d like to think that we are plugged in and engaged, we are still not completely slaves to media and technology. We are not as up to date in the entertainment pop culture.
The way tablets and hand held devices are altering the delivery and consumption of information; I find that they also update the family dynamics. We still sit around in our family room but instead of doing traditional things, we talk about things we stumble upon, apps we are currently playing, digital magazines and newspapers we are reading. We watched all episodes of Avatar, All Grown Up, Rugrats, Ramsay’s Best Restaurant, Phineas and Ferb, Dual Survivor on Netflix. We watch newer shows like Modern Family on Hulu. We read and peruse the free eBooks from Amazon and iBooks. We turn on Facetime or Skype or Google Voice to talk to families and friends in other states or countries. We play Club Penguin, Poptropica or Alchemy. We take turns with Temple Run. We review Greek and Roman mythology on Wikipedia. We watch YouTube and scour the net for Filipino shows and videos. We talk about news and headlines from Flipboard, Pulse and other feed aggregators.
We do a bunch of things, individually and together. Except we do them on these little magical devices. They are our hand held portal to the universe. I wonder if I’ll see the day where we just inject data or plug our brains directly into the feed or the grid. I better stop now before I geek out.