The Apple Influence #98825

I am not the first in this course to profile Apple but I think the company and the influence that it has provided is large enough for more than one person to tackle.

Specifically related to mobility there is no arguing that the emergence of the iPod, the iPhone and now the iPad has had a profound impact on how we think about mobile technologies.  While the cell phone captured our imagination with respect to mobile communication this next generation of devices has blurred the lines between communicative, computing and entertainment devices.  Convergence is the key.  Mobility from the learning perspective has everything to do with capability and accessibility.  With the emergence of 3 and 4G networks and much more capable devices the learning opportunities have blossomed.  Apple’s pivotal role in this is clear as we see competitive companies jumping to provide equivalent technologies.  Google and Android, RIM and the Playbook, the evolution of smartphones generally and in particular the Apps driven ecosystems that seem to be driving it all.

My own utilization of mobile technologies has itself undergone a drastic change over the course of the last 6 months.  I now rarely carry around a laptop computer and instead use an iPad when screen size and input is an issue and have recently purchased an iPhone 4.  I have to say that it has been a game changer for me.  I now find myself forgoing the iPad in favour of the ease of carrying and using the iPhone.  In particular the ability to easily and cheaply collect and use apps that meet my particular needs has been the most important for me..and I believe this will be one of the most important aspects for mobile learning.  I have used a Blackberry for the past 3 years and in that entire time never thought of it in the way that I now think of my iPhone.  It was “a” Blackberry but it wasn’t “my Blackberry”.

Apple was first to the block with the iPod but not first to the block with smartphones, tablet computers or apps but they certainly have a way of making it seem like they were.  They are expensive but it does seem that people are willing to pay the price for staying connected.

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7 Responses to The Apple Influence #98825

  1. Anas says:

    Obviously I agree with you. the Apple idevices have elevated the learning experience to a new level that left the door open for many new possibilities. The powerfulness of these devices is not technology itself. But the combination of hardware, software (Apps), communication, battery life and “the Experience” that have been redesigned integrally to ensure they are a day-to-day device.

    Good work.

    • learn231 says:


      I think yo hit the nail on the head…it is the combination of factors [especially the experience] that I think has very much “personalized” the device for users.


  2. mkunruh says:

    I’m catching up, and so have been reading the entire classes’ blogs in one big swoop. What is clear from reading yours and others is that Apple has changed how we view mobility (at least for North Americans). And, in turn, how we view and access information. It certainly illustrates “just-in-time” learning, particularly when my kids ask me questions. Or when I need to buy a new product, or even, check in with this class.

    I’m sure there is a study out there (maybe the Pew Project has done one?) that looks at who owns and uses iPhones. I would assume there is data on demographics – how much does age, economic class and location play into its use? And what does that say about mobile education as a whole.

    (I also think of the iPhone as “my” iPhone, and get a wee bit twitchy when I leave it behind.)

    • learn231 says:

      It would be interesting to find or gather the information you refer to and I am sure that age, economics and location play a role as to what device and services people use. Ultimately this would have an impact on how we plan for mobile learning in a classroom.

      What I am keenly interested in or hopeful about is that educators in general embrace the possibilities in mLearning and eLearning and not default to blocking, filtering and ignoring.


  3. Brandy Usick says:

    I am interested in your comment that you now prefer the iphone over your ipad. Although my iphone feels like it has become an extension of me (as you mentioned above:”my” iphone versus an iphone) I have been coveting an ipad, mostly for it’s size – but of course there will be a potential trade off with regard to portability.
    I have heard from other classmates as well that apps are increasingly becoming more important and has and will continue to have a significant role in shaping how mobile technology is used. I am interested particularly in how apps are being used by higher education institutions.

    • learn231 says:

      I do like my iPad and use it for very specific purposes when the large screen or larger keyboard is required. There are also situations when the added capability of apps built for the iPad is required….but other than that I now default to the phone.

      I think what this illustrates for me is the importance of devices that fit niches. In the classroom [K-12] it would be important to have multiple devices. Students should be able to pick the device that best suits the task at hand. If we allow students to bring their own devices to school then the school or school division can provide desktop and laptop computers to do the heavy lifting that the phone or the tablet can’t.


  4. Skip Ward says:

    My different reply to Anas is found at


    You made a number of clever points with use of clever wording!
    •“blurred the lines between communicative, computing and entertainment devices. Convergence is the key.”
    •the Apps driven ecosystems that seem to be driving it all.
    •It was “a” Blackberry but it wasn’t “my Blackberry”.

    I had “a Blackberry” for 10 years with Shell Oil and I only used it as a communications tool- phone and email.” No texting. That was/is global company culture. As soon as I left Shell a year ago I went to the iPhone and never looked back because of the apps and how they blur communication, entertainment and email in an app driven ecosystem.

    I bought an iPad for one purpose- to make a presentation for a communications job I am keen on. That was so novel I will be remembered!

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