I believe the future of school technology will be in Personally Owned Devices or PODs. This has actually been brewing for decades, but now is finally the time when it is ready.
Let me start with a quick history lesson: back when the idea of public education for children came about, school always had more "stuff" than individual homes. Stuff like books and things, a home would only have a few books, where as a school could have thousands.
Remember when computers got started? They were the size of rooms and were housed at some of the country's greatest schools and universities. Students would sign up to take computer science classes and share these big mammoth machines that cost millions to own.
Everyone was happy
But something quietly started to happen in the eighties...
Back in the mid eighties was the start of the personal computer revolution, suddenly students went home to "stuff" better than their school had. Students would use a computer at school that could barely do simple math but go home and play on their Commodore 64, my friend even had a Texas Instrument computer that could talk!
The problem was that we couldn't exactly take our computers to school. So schools were safe and sound with their antiquated computers and we just accepted it. Until the iPod Touch...
The iPod Touch changed everything. Now students had the Internet and over 100,000 apps in their pocket and a revolution is now waiting in the wings. Now that students can take their computers to school in their pocket what are we going to do about it?
Smart school districts have started to embrace this knowing that it helps their bottom line. Think about it: why buy students computers when they already own them (PODs) and are willing to bring them to school. Just give them some filtered WiFi, have them sign a contract and Shazam! they're happy.
Tomorrow I will talk about some obstacles to this ideas of PODs.