The Day the World Changed

October 28, 2008 · Posted in culture, iPhone 

I did something the other day that I have never done before in my life.

I put my cell phone in my pocket.

A little background information is in order here. I’m not a phone person. I prefer to communicate by e-mail or messaging. I don’t feel a need to always be in contact. In fact, I like having times during my day when no one can find me. I tried Twitter for a few months and came away thinking “so what?” I have a Facebook page, but I mainly use it to do something called “poking” which I really don’t fully understand. I got my first cell phone when my oldest son started driving. I only turned it on when he was away from the house. Other times it was turned off and either buried in my pack or sitting at home on the kitchen table. Once or twice I ordered pizza with it.

Oh–and one more piece of important information. The cell phone I put in my pocket the other day was an iPhone 3G.

The world changed for me when I was sitting alone at a neighborhood Subway eating a tuna sub and reading the New York Times on my iPhone. I ran across an interesting article on behavioral economics–an interest of my other son’s–and I sent the article to him using my iPhone. It was later that I fully realized what I had done. I was reading the current issue of the Times in a little shop in Fairbanks, Alaska. I sent an e-mail to a student in Wyoming. I didn’t need to look for a network. I didn’t need to fuss with multiple applications on my phone. The icons and text were big enough for me to read and the buttons were big enough for me to touch. It just worked.

Since then I haven’t been able to allow my iPhone to get very far away from me. It has very little to do with the fact that it’s a phone. It has more to do with the fact that I can locate my position using GPS, fly around the world with Google Earth, look up a word that I should really know (the last one was solipsism), check the political polls, read a bit of news, check and send e-mail, look at some photos, play a movie, find out what song is playing on the radio (Shazam!), play a game or two, and even phone my family. And I can do it easily.

The implications for education are enormous. Field trips take on a whole new meaning. Emergency contacts are a tap away. Content residing on my phone can be played on a TV. I think this is the device I have always been waiting for. It didn’t take long for it to change my world.

My iPhone now resides in my pocket, always turned on. Someone might call me…


5 Responses to “The Day the World Changed”

  1. Melissa on December 8th, 2008 12:00 pm

    I haven’t broken down and agreed to let my husband get one for the family yet. But I don’t think it will take much longer for him to convince me that we need one. They do look like really neat little gadgets.

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  3. Crystal Risse on April 30th, 2009 11:21 pm

    You are right-these are great devices, filled with helpful, useful applications, and they just happen to reside on a cell phone. The possibilities are endless.
    I am encouraged that you are an open minded person, who is willing to learn new things and embrace change. It is o.k. to let change happen……

  4. Chris L on November 20th, 2009 12:33 pm

    All the good reasons for carrying a phone (I HATE talking on the phone) have nothing to do with the phone part!

    All the goodness of the iPhone comes from it being a mini-computer– if the iTouch had the camera and GPS I’d almost never even think of the iPhone…

  5. Skip on November 20th, 2009 1:40 pm

    I’m with you, Chris. If there were a data-enabled iPod touch with a camera and GPS, I’d buy it in a heartbeat and I’d figure out some way to buy one for each of my K-12 students as well. There are rumors of such a device coming from Google, carrier-independent to boot. I’ll get in the first line that I see forming…

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