9. Anytime, Anywhere

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Mobile phone overuse
Introduced in just the last 20 years, mobile computing and the internet have both made anytime anywhere computing a reality. While there are disadvantages to being available all the time, there are many more benefits to having access to information and services 24-by-7 (all the time). Being location-independent has enormous benefits as well for researchers, people with unusual hobbies, and acquiring scarce or unique goods and services from anywhere on the planet.

Learning outcomes

  • find and discuss examples of anytime / anywhere technologies
  • understand how these technologies are impacting society


  • anywhere anytime - mobile, presence, publishing, distribution, geo-locating, source forge, open source, paypal, commerce, security, off-shoring, games, entertainment, education, mobile learning, eWallet

Study notes

  • What happened in an emergency before cell phones?
  • What are some examples of "anywhere" applications of technology?
  • How are phones being used where there are no computers or even electricity? Why?


  1. Before you start the reading and the assignments, take a few minutes to think about what you already know about the topic - Anytime, Anywhere. Write a sentence or two about this in the I know... discussion.

  2. Read the Study notes for an overview for the topics that will be covered.

  3. Read, view, listen to several selections in the Selected media list.

  4. Choose 1 word from the Keywords list for this module. Find TWO (2) resources that provide information about the word and how it relates to the course. Rate each resource on a scale of 1 to 5. To determine the score, identify 5 characteristics of each resource (good and bad). If there are 3 good things and 2 not-so-good things, give it a rating of 3/5. Do this for both resources you select. Post the word, links to your selected resources, the scores and the lists of good and not-so-good characteristics, and a brief description about your selection for each, to the discussion Anytime, Anywhere keywords. Review 3 other resources, and write a brief reply to the author for each.

  5. There's an app for that. How are smartphones being used in innovative ways? Think beyond communication with friends and family, using maps and searching. How are they changing society? What are uses and smartphone applications that are making a difference? Some areas of innovation are healthcare (podcast), economic development, lifelong learning and more. Provide 2-3 specific examples and links to the applications in the Smartphone apps discussion.

  6. Review 2 political web sites - political parties - Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Green, ..., federal, state and local candidates, and ballot initiatives. Does the site provide useful and interesting information? Is the web site design attractive? Does this site contribute to the political process in a way that was not possible without the internet? Rate the effectiveness of each site on a scale of 1-5. Then provide pros and cons (total of 5) to explain your rating. For example, if you rate one of the sites as a 4, then provide 4 reasons why the site works that well and 1 reason why it didn't get 5 out of 5. Do this for both sites you select. Find one effective political site (4-5) and one that isn't very good (2 or less). Provide your rating and reasons for both sites along with the web addresses, and post your evaluations to the Politics and the web discussion.
    Review 2 other site selections and comment. If you agree or disagree with their rating, provide an explanation. It isn't about the politics - we are interested in the effectiveness of the internet as part of the political process.

  7. Food science and technology. The population of the world continues to increase. People are demanding better food. Technology is playing an important role in meeting these demands. What are some of the key innovations that are coming along in food science and technology? How are these impacting society? Find a resource - text or video, that describes technologies that are contributing to food production and distribution to improve the nutrition of people worldwide. Include the link and a brief summary to the Food science and technology discussion. Review the posts of 2 others.

  8. Celebrations - Birth, marriage, death - All these celebrations of significant life events are evolving dramatically. Find examples of 2-3 celebrations that have been redefined by the inclusion of technology and post your selections along with a brief description of the social impact to the Celebrations discussion. If you have had personal experiences with these or the examples posted by others, please add a note.

  9. Social Media, Political Advertising and Elections - Listen to the podcast Democracy and the Internet. Are these the questions we need to be asking? Were these interviews helpful? Do you understand the issues?
    Find one resource that addresses issues associated with technology, elections and voting - voting machines, audit, recount, fraud, security, privacy, voter ids - anything related to elections and voting. Provide the link and YOUR thoughts about technology and voting to the Technology and Elections discussion. Review 2 others.

  10. Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) - The internet is enabling people every where to learn and participate in online communities of learners. These are open and free to anyone. FutureLearn, OERu, Coursera, edX are some of the biggest sites, offering course from many different colleges and universities around the world. Some offer "credit" for a small fee if the learners completes specific work and demonstrates that they achieved additional understanding of the subject.
    These are OPEN - you don't have to be enrolled in the college to take these online courses.
    Find a MOOC that interests you, and post a link and a brief summary of the the course.
    Have you personally participated in any MOOC courses? What course and why did you select this course? What did you expect? What was your experience? Is this changing what you learn as well as how you learn?
    OR Read about Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Find 1 resource that talks about MOOCs. Because this is a relatively new course structure, there are many different, even conflicting, definitions and opinions about their applicability to education. How are MOOCs courses different from courses for enrolled students?
    Post links to your resources and a brief description about each, 1-2 benefits and 1-2 questions about MOOCs to the Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) discussion.

  11. TED Talks: Every year, a thousand “thought-leaders, movers and shakers” get together at a four-day conference called TED (which is short for Technology, Entertainment and Design). http://www.ted.com
    In this collection, you’ll find various talks presented at the conference. They usually run about 5-20 minutes. Pick a topic that interests you (not Computers and Society - that is a different assignment). Attend a virtual lecture. Why is this interesting? Post the link to the session you visit and 2-3 sentences describing the topic and your experience to the Virtual Lectures discussion.

  12. Even before the pandemic there was a massive teacher shortage globally so more than 240 million kids did not have access to a teacher. But many do have access to basic phones and cheap or subsidized cell service. The impact of COVID-19 means that more than 1.5 billion children are currently out of school. Lockdown has shown us new possibilities where children might be able to access education using tech, enabling us to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 by 2030. “What if...a mobile phone was a school?” Assume everyone has a phone and some internet access. Use your skills of problem-solving and creative thinking to come up with your ideas and share in the discussion. Add your follow-on ideas and questions to 3 or more other posts.

  13. Web Literacy - PARTICIPATE / Connecting - In the Web Literacy framework description, review the skills in the Connecting group. What skills you don't have yet or need to work on? Look it up. In the Web Literacy - PARTICIPATE discussion, post a link to a resource that improved your understanding and skills in these areas.

  14. Social innovation - Now find another video about this specific issue - Search TEDtalks for a video that addresses "social innovation". What is the social issue discussed? How is this innovative? What are questions and ideas being shared. What are 2-3 questions that are asked or answered in your selection? Post a link to your selection and brief summary to the Social Innovation discussion.

  15. Project Groups Discussions - Global issues and technology solutions. List as may issues as you can. Suggest technology solutions. These technologies don’t have to exist. It is better if you really think of ideas that are totally new. Post your ideas and suggestions to Project Groups Discussions. Elaborate on the ideas of others.

  16. That's interesting... - What is one significant change that is a direct result of people everywhere being able to communicate in minutes? Why is this interesting to you? What are 2-3 questions about these advances that we need to consider? Your response should be 2-3 sentences. Use the That's interesting... assignment to submit your note.

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