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We started a collaborative project with five schools around the world located in China, America, Australia, Bangladesh, and Austria. The project was known as the horizon project, it was based on a report compiled by the horizon report of 2007. The project was based on the fastest developing trends this year. My topic was Mobile Phones and my topic had discussed several major social and ethical issues. Mobile phones deal with several issues such as reliability, many phones made with Symbian OS or any other operating system crashes. Many companies have phones that crash and are not reliable; this has been seen increasingly in the Nokia Nseries, which is referred to as their multimedia computers.
Mobile phone manufacturers should regularly find out ways to improve reliability on their phones and provide firmware updates, which improve reliability and security. Phones today do have viruses and they have to be stopped so antivirus companies are offering software for mobile devices and the companies which make phones have to address the issues and then only give out devices because for most people their mobile phones are the most crucial things in their lives.
There is no anonymity and privacy when using a mobile phone because if anyone calls someone they can see the number and the government can monitor any call as well as hear. If people start to use the Internet to make VOIP calls on their phones they can prevent someone else from hearing. Mobile phones have some equality of access because mobile phones can be bought starting at thirty dollars to a few thousand dollars but they all give one similar feature to everyone. Regular GSM phone calls, but the more expensive phones have more advanced feature’s like video calls, email, high speed internet.
Globalization of mobile phones has taken place worldwide everyone around the world have cell phones it is the largest electronic market in the world. In the entire year of 2006 Steve Jobs showed in his keynote that only 40 million dollars of gaming consoles were sold in the year and 65 million portable music players were sold and 200 million computers were sold but mobile phone had 957 million units sold. So it is a large growing market with still more room for growth.
Policies and Standards is another issue, all companies and content providers do not support the same file formats for audio, video, phonebook data and notes. So if someone ever wants to change phone brands it is difficult to transfer all the data. Some phones support mp4 or 3gp video formats so all phones don’t have the same standard. Mobile phones are a great advantage to help people to socialize. More interaction through technology allows us to communicate more effectively. Machines help the way in which people interact and make everything more efficient. It does make us interact with a machine but regardless mobile phones give humans the accessibility to communicate and socialize with other people.
I think the horizon project is a great idea just like the flat classroom project. It quite amazing that five countries around the world working all the time on the same project. The project should set an example for other classrooms all over the world. We did have some problems, mainly bandwidth shortage. If we had fast internet we could be video conferencing and using elluminate throughout our project to collaborate. Other problems such as less collaboration or communication caused a lot of confusion. If I ever do a project similar to this I would use the telephone to make sure there is no communication gap at all because of Internet problems in Bangladesh.
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