School & District Management Opinion

The Largest Classroom Tech Infusion in History

By Justin Baeder — July 20, 2012 1 min read
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This fall, I’d like to see an unprecedented amount of new technology enter our nation’s classrooms. It’s powerful, it’s easy, and it won’t cost a dime.

The average classroom probably has a handful of computers, but they tend to be underpowered and out of date. The future is in mobile devices, and there’s now a way to get a powerful mobile device into the hands of every child in America.

Apple is on track to sell more than 100 million iPhones this year, and with the new edition coming in September, there will no doubt be somewhere on the order of 30 million people upgrading and getting rid of their old iPhones. They could go into landfills or junk drawers, or they could be put to good use.

The iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S are all perfectly serviceable and modern devices, but will be “obsolete” to anyone who gets the new iPhone. This presents an amazing opportunity for our nation’s classrooms.

Here’s what I’m proposing: Tell everyone you know to donate their old iPhones to a classroom in their community. Tell teachers you know to ask for iPhone donations. Tell schools to request donations, right alongside box tops for education. Help a teacher you know figure out how to put these iPhones to use. Focus on the teachers who are most interested, and help them get an iPhone for every student. Don’t ask for permission. Just do it and see what happens.

Once the devices are in hand, wipe them and use them as overpowered iPod Touches. The possibilities are endless. You can use them as:
Video cameras
Video editing stations (iMovie is $5)
Digital portfolios
Audio recorders
Document cameras
and so much more.

I’ve created a Facebook page to promote this trend, and look forward to seeing where it ends up. Thoughts?

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