Could Android finally be the mobile education platform?

It's no secret that I'm a big ol' Google lover. I am, however, utterly attached to my BlackBerry.

It's no secret that I'm a big ol' Google lover. I am, however, utterly attached to my BlackBerry. I've installed the Google Mobile Apps for the BlackBerry platform, but no matter how cool Android is, you'll have to pry my BlackBerry from my cold, dead hands.

That's for me, though. What about for students looking for an easy to use, inexpensive mobile platform? Several readers have suggested that cell phones are becoming ubiquitous even in developing countries and might make a better choice than available netbooks for delivering educational content and allowing students to communicate.

Now Google is touting its Android platform (and the new HTC G1 on which it runs) as "open and future-proof." While nothing is future-proof, the open software platform and the already tight integration with the cloud makes for some interesting questions. What if a company picked up the Android platform, ported it to a smartphone with an integrated keyboard, wrote a few educational apps (maybe an equation editor, calculator, mind-mapping tool, or an interactive response system), leased cell capacity from a major carrier, and then started marketing to educators?

The Kindle provides cell coverage for free to users as long as they are using the dedicated applications on the device. A similar paradigm could connect kids and teachers in a classroom through Google Apps over the "ePhone" (I just made that up).

Plenty of reviewers have pointed out that the G1 is a perfectly nice phone, but that it really isn't enterprise-ready. It's not hard to envision an iteration of it that is education-ready, though.

What would be your educational Android killer app?


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