Celling a Great Idea
When that event horizon comes to pass, the switch to smartphone access in class will be so utterly quick and complete that the time before smartphones will seem like a distant memory, a work of fiction, something from an Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel. Anthropologists will call it the “Before Smartphones Era” or possibly the “BS Period.”
Why will the event happen so quickly? Quite simply because of the ubiquity of cell phones. The penetration of cell phones and smartphones (soon there will only be smartphones) in society is much deeper that most people can imagine. Would you believe that more communities on this planet have access to cell phones than they do to electricity?
That’s worth repeating: Cell phones have deeper penetration on this planet than ELECTRICITY! (See the Next Billion blog here and the Italian study here.) People in developing nations trek to village electricity hubs to recharge their phones. The United States has 322.8 million cell phone subscribers. That’s 102.4 percent of our population.
Even though we have more cell phone plans than people, we obviously have students who do not have cell phones. For those students, we will need to fill the gap with inexpensive smartphones for students to borrow or lease. As long as the school has WiFi, no actual cell phone subscription is needed. That could be a cost picked up by the parent or student if they decide they want it on their loner phone.
Currently about 75 percent of high school students in the U.S. have cell phones. When schools actually have the expectations for smartphone use, the number of students with their own phones will increase...