Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Emerging Pedagogy Tools: Wireless

Ubiquitous wireless
Q- How is collaboration like basketball?
A- It is a game you cannot win if you have problems getting to the Net.

Yea, I know, you have heard this before [Link] and [Link]! But in a world that is being described as flat [Link], collaboration is everything. The Internet, and the network that gets you to it, is the medium of collaboration. The wireless network, increasingly for our campus, is the digital dial tone of the global collaboration conversation.

Simplicity is the key to wireless. Using 802.11 "Wi-Fi" compliant hardware and software, ideas can flow from people to the Internet and then to other people. It is not just about computers, PDAs and even VOIP phones allow for thoughts and ideas to flow seamlessly. The need to authenticate to the network adds complexity to this process.

Complexity adds a layer of specifications and compliance that must be met. Complexity makes it so that good people and productivity enhancing devices that could play, will not be able to play. Complexity is the enemy of utilization of the medium of collaboration. Complexity disables our students, faculty, staff, industry allies and our partners. In my opinion, anything that adds complexity and blocks access to that medium of collaboration better have a damn super vital reason for existence!

The goal needs to be to enable anybody who is on campus to be able to participate in collaboration in as many ways as possible, with as many types of enabling devices as possible, as long as their participation does not negatively impact others. Wireless has to be everywhere and accessible any time. The idea we stop from getting on the network, may be the idea that changes our campus and the world for the better.

According to SJSU Professor Steve Greene, when Robert Scoble came to our campus to speak to the Journalism and Mass Communications faculty, one of the peolpe in attendance had to provide him their own user name and password so that Scoble could access the wireless network. They should not have had to do that.

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