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. What don't you know? What questions do you have? NEW - Create an AUDIO recording of your reply. You can create the recording within Canvas - see the notes in the discussion for using Canvas to record audio from the Canvas desktop version or from the mobile app. Record a sentence or two about this in the I have questions... 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, economic development, lifelong learning and more. Provide 2-3 specific examples and links to the applications in the There's an App for that... discussion.

  6. A phone as a camera - Sometimes a picture can tell a story without any words. It may be simpler to show something in a picture than it is to describe it. Find one image made with a smartphone camera that tells a story. What is it about the image that would be hard to describe? Post a link to the image and a ONE (1) sentence summary to the Visual stories discussion. Review the visual stories of 2 others. What did you notice in the image and post this as a reply to the image.

  7. Elections, Social Media, Political Advertising and Technology - 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? We are interested in the effectiveness of the technology as part of the political process.
    Find two resources that addresses issues associated with technology, politics and elections. Provide the links and YOUR thoughts to the Technology and Elections discussion. Review 2 others.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) - The internet is enabling people every where to learn online free. FutureLearn, OERu, Coursera, edX are some of the biggest sites, offering courses from many different colleges and universities around the world. Some offer "credit" for a small fee if the learners complete specific course work. You don't have to be enrolled in the college to take these online courses. Have you personally participated in any MOOC courses? What course? What was your experience? How are MOOCs courses different from courses for enrolled students?
    Find a MOOC that interests you, and post a link and a brief summary of the the MOOC you selected 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. The impact of COVID-19 meant that more than 1.5 billion children were out of school. Even before the pandemic there was a massive teacher shortage globally so more than 240 million kids did not have access to a teacher. Millions or billions of people just have “dumb” phones. What educational resources are available to them? What innovations have educators and service providers developed to enable these learners to access education using tech, enabling us to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.
    Many do have access to basic text/photo phones. In some cases, the "phone" is only a storage device for text and audio lessons that are reloaded at a central location. Others have cheap or subsidized cell service. “What if...a text/photo phone was a school?” Find a resource describing an innovative solution for "dumb" cellphone-only education and share in the discussion. Add your follow-on ideas and questions to 2-3 other posts.

  13. WebXR - Virtual/Augmented Reality - Although it would be nice to have a special viewer, you can still see the videos in a regular browser from your computer or phone. You won't get the full effect, but you will get the idea. Access the WITHIN site and explore. WebXR is an open specification that makes it possible to experience WebXR - VR (Virtual Reality)/ AR (Augmented Reality) in your browser. The goal is to make it easier for everyone to get into WebXR experiences. You won’t be able to see in 3D or interact as fully in most example experiences, but you can still look around in 360 degrees. View several of the experiences. Select one and post a link and short summary of your experience. How was this different from a regular video? Have you ever used a VR viewer? Is WebXR going to change how we experience audio and visual content? Post your reply to the WebXR Experience discussion.

  14. Readability and text display - In the beginning, the web user had complete control over how text was displayed. This has been largely replaced by the developer deciding what is "best". However, new research shows that readability and comprehension can be impacted by these choices. See for yourself. Access the ReadabilityMatters.org Sandbox and adjust the sliders to change the text display. Think about what you read and what settings would be better (or worse) for each. Phone, tablet, laptop, desktop? Academic papers, books for pleasure, searching for specific information within text? How about on standardized tests, assignment instructions or even math problem descriptions? Could text display make a difference to you? Post you observations in the Readability demo discussion.

  15. Web Literacy - PARTICIPATE / Connecting - In the Web Literacy framework description, review the skills in the Connecting group. What skills don't you 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.

  16. Social innovation - Find another video or online resource about "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? Include a link to your selection and brief summary to the Social Innovation discussion.

  17. 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.

  18. 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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