Thursday 22 February 2018

Inventor of mobile phone rings changes for classroom of 2034

Marty Cooper with Tim (4) and Luke Lally (8) at the Excited Digital Learning Festival. Photo: Arthur Carron
Marty Cooper with Tim (4) and Luke Lally (8) at the Excited Digital Learning Festival. Photo: Arthur Carron
David Puttman: Photo: Arthur Carron
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

WELCOME to the classroom of 2034, with virtual screens, Google glasses, and hi-tech wireless devices strapped to children as young as three.

Playschool toddlers will take their first tentative steps in education connected to a vast range of Star Trek-style devices, a ground breaking technology expert claims.

Marty Cooper (85) says our schools will change beyond recognition within 20 years.

"In the future all students will have virtual screens – and everybody will have a link called a personal server that connects wirelessly," he told the Irish Independent.

"And then going into the server will be various other devices: medical devices, fitness devices and talking and listening devices.

"We're moving away from laptops and in the direction of tablets. But even carrying a tablet is awkward compared to how it ought to be.

"Google glasses are just a precursor, there'll be significant improvements in that technology, and they'll be an important part of learning."

A pioneer in the wireless communications industry, Mr Cooper led the team that developed the first hand-held mobile in the 1970s.

Speaking at the Digital Learning Festival in Dublin Castle, he said students in the future will be "individuals and not as statistics".

"Today, students are put in boxes. If you're a certain age, you go to a certain type of class," he said.

"But not everybody of a given age is similar in their teaching requirements.

"One welcome change in the future is that the cell phone will adapt itself to the needs of a particular student. Education must be tailored to the individual."

Film producer David Puttnam, who was appointed an ambassador for digital issues in Ireland in 2012, was among the experts addressing the two-day event.

Irish Independent

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