Verizon opens up, and a good example of wireless use in classrooms

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Like many folks (optimist; pessimist) I’m excited, with a little trepidation, about Verizon’s announcement that they’re opening up their wireless network for devices and applications other than the ones they provide – that’s a huge change of attitude for a network that historically has tried to maintain very strict controls over what capabilities are enabled.

Susan Crawford has a great example of the effect this news had in the communications law class she teaches. It provides a great example of the way wireless Internet access in classrooms can enhance the learning experience:

So this morning my communications law class was earnestly discussing the 700 MHz auction rules when, suddenly, one of the students lifted his head from his screen and said, “Verizon just announced they’re opening everything up!”
(I’m always a fan of internet access in the classroom, and this gives me a good story to use with other teachers. “See, it’s useful, not just a distraction.”)
We immediately started discussing why Verizon is doing what it’s doing. And the context was clear, because it was the subject of the class: it’s the auction.

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