Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cell Phone is 5th Most Ubiquitous Possession

I was trolling through G+ (I know, I know, who actually hangs out there, right?) and saw this post from noted Futurist and Senior Maverick at WIRED Magazine, Kevin Kelly. In the first paragraph he writes this...
The most ubiquitous technological possession on earth is the steel blade. Second is the cotton T-shirt. Nearly every forest person will have at least these two. Next is an aluminum pot and then a plastic bottle. After that it is a cell phone. Even the most remote farmer or lowliest street sweeper will pay for a cheap phone. These are not the most profound technologies - they would be television and antibiotics -- but the most common among humans.
I was a little stunned that the cell phone beat out pants, but maybe having pants puts me into another minority group.

I do trust Kevin Kelly's data and I assume this data is probably explained more deeply in his latest book, What Technology Wants! 

But even if the cell phone only hit the top ten, or top twenty even, that would still be a remarkable thing.  And something we as training and development professionals should not take lightly.  Yes, we are annoyed by walking and texting pedestrians, and scared by driving and texting teenagers, and struggling to adjust the social norms around these devices.  But one thing is certain, and that is your learners have cell phones, period! Embrace this knowledge and use them to your advantage.  Resistance is futile!

Make the best of this situation and commit to learning about how cell phones will work in your school, or corporate enterprise.  And learn how people are using them.  Use-cases matter...maybe even more than the technology.

Get all the information you need about mobile devices and learning at mLearnCon.  It's your future! Don't be left behind.

1 comment:

Ara Ohanian said...

Brent, you’re right – resistance is indeed futile. Everyone’s trying to hang their hat on mobile devices – of course we love the idea of mobile learning but it’s used for everything else from commerce to navigation. Ubiquitous internet connectivity in our pockets is absolutely going to change the way we work, live and learn. I look forward to celebrating this brave new world with you at mLearnCon.