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The iPhone - a toy, or an essential part of who we are?

Stanford researcher Tanya Luhrmann says, "My anthropology class studied the gadget's use on campus and uncovered anxiety, addiction and gushing love."

In what ways do Wireless Mobile Devices like iPhones become extensions to ourselves? How do they shape our habits? Our outlook? Our identities? What does this imply about the way we might use them as a tool for teaching and learning?

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Comment by Hazel Owen on December 9, 2013 at 14:44

While I don't have an iPhone, I do have an Android device, an iPad, and a Mac. Do I feel that any of them are an extension of myself? Good question. A couple of days ago I was working with colleagues, and we did a quick straw poll to see who would happily leave their laptop behind. Admittedly it was an eLearning team, but it was a bit sad that only one of us not only said they could, but also did so!

I would say that I feel the connectivity rather than the device shapes my's so easy to pick up communications, and there is a sense of 'being useful' tied in to answering them and contributing to conversations, or - even better - helping someone.

The long and the short of it is - these devices are very much part of my work, my professional learning, and how I (sometimes) develop friendships.

The implications for how we learn (and teach)?..hmmm - tricky to answer. I certainly have seen, where there are associated shifts in beliefs about learning and roles of teachers, learners can be empowered. By which I mean, they have choice - about how they interact, the forms of media they access, the ways in which they (co-) construct understandings and artefacts - to name but a few. However, when learning takes the form of glorified text-books - well....

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