Just a quick post from vacation...However, being on vacation and largely PC-free, I was reminded of just how much has changed in terms of mobile computing. Sure, I have my computer with me and I've been using it at night to work on some big documents. However, as it was during our big ice storm this last December, my trusty BlackBerry has been far more useful to me.
Really, without the Internet, a PC is just a glorified typewriter. However, using my BlackBerry, I was able to salvage a grant opportunity that almost fell through the cracks from the front seat of a canoe on Moosehead Lake in rural Maine. All of the documents I needed were in the cloud, whether attached to an email or in Google Docs. All of my contacts were in the cloud or on my BlackBerry.
I could handle voice (yes, people do still occasional use their mobiles for talking) to communicate some finer details to the other administrators, and I was able to get all of the documentation together and into the hands of the key people handling funding and coordination. My primary contact happened to be in Australia at the time, but the asynchronous nature of our communication was no problem.
I was back to fishing, BlackBerry happily stowed in my pocket, grant ready to move forward when I got home, with a minimum of trauma, all without an actual PC. Obviously, I couldn't have produced the documents on my BlackBerry. That would have been a complete pain. However, it certainly makes me think about what computing at our high school will look like when it's time for a refresh in a year. Will we replace our thin clients with something else? Will we be looking for something even more net-centric? Just how mobile will we go?
It's certainly food for thought, but the power of mobility and the maturation of the Web and the Cloud are impossible to deny. I definitely had an easier time keeping up with my day job via my BlackBerry on a canoe than I did catching any fish. Prize-winning bass, salmon, and trout fishing up here, and all I caught was a piece of driftwood. Oh well...at least I had four bars and EVDO coverage.