mobile internet devices edtech
Pew Internet Project

Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Internet Project gave a presentation today in New York City about how Internet media consumption has changed in ten years.

Interesting about it:

Immersion experiences and experiences that rely on augmented reality are two highly ranked features of the 2010 mobile internet. It reminds me of the conversation we had in Peoria, Illinois. Someone from the Illinois Virtual School asked what role mobile could play in education.

A couple answers revealed that augmented reality for the mobile is still trapped in the retail and marketing sectors. Right now, small companies are developing augmented reality features and apps for the phone, but they are mainly being used for shopping or for treasure hunts through cities that are connected to marketing efforts to sell a certain product r bring tourism awareness to a city feature.

There’s a wall between marketing and vendor-specific shopping categories and education. Nobody wants to refer to kids as consumers. For some reason, consumerism — probably the singlemost identifying factor of American life — is considered bad, and to link a student with market forces is somehow anathema to education.

But should augmented reality jump this wall, and should marketing and retail behavior be linked to student knowledge, work ethic and exploratory consciousness, then we have probably the greatest combination of app, device and student ever.

Augmented reality can overlay an 1836 map or photograph view of your current city into a mobile viewfinder. A student can literally travel through historical Allentown, Pennsylvania and instead of relying on books to present facts, the student can interact with those facts as if they were happening in real time.

Look at these facts about media consumption in 2010, as compared to 2000 and tell me why we haven’t gotten a clue yet, that mobile devices can augment education, just as they can augment history, our current ideas, and our social interactions. Could it also be that of those who don’t own a mobile phone, 23% share a phone with someone else?

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