Over the last five years of researching web2.0 tools that couple with cell phones, I have found many tools that I LOVE, but they cost money to use. As an educator and former technology coordinator, I know that for many schools it is unrealistic to expect them to be able to pay (consistently--year after year) for access to the web2.0 tool. At the same time I understand that most of these companies that create the tools are in business to make money. Especially sites that do not advertise (which schools like), need some way to stay afloat. Therefore, here is my proposal to these companies.
1) Allow educators K-16 to use these resources for free. Allow them to use the FULL version for free if there is an upgrade option (there are many resources that are starting to go in this direction)
2) In return when these students enter the "real world" there is a good chance they will be hooked on these resources. Thus, they will be willing to pay to use them in the business world.
In my opinion, this is a win-win. The schools get access to the latest and best resources for mobile phones, and the companies get lots of marketing and future business.
I thought of this idea when I was talking with a friend in Canada who said that in his province all students under the age of 18 get free unlimited texting by a few of the cell phone companies. I realized that this is an excellent marketing scheme by the cell phone companies. Here is why---the companies get the students hooked on all the bells and whistles of text messaging (not hard to do!) so that the companies have guaranteed business when the students reach the age of 18! Smart marketing in my opinion. Why can't some of my favorite mobile web2.0 companies do the same??? The resources below were often-used by educators BEFORE the sites started charging.
I have been contacting many of these sites with my proposal.
What do you think? Do you have any sites to add to the list?
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Cell Phones in Learning by Liz Kolb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at cellphoneseinlearning.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://cellphonesinlearning.com.