By John Painter on Wed, 09/09/2009
As a writer for iPhone Life magazine who’s interested in the arts and humanities as well as educational uses of the iPhone, I've been wanting to really probe a bit on my own, how the experience of the iPhone might contribute to the process of education and our understanding of the world. A mentor of mine, Allan DiBiase who's background is in educational philosophy and the arts (in his case music), started me thinking about how critical the process of experience is in shaping meaning.
For the iPhone to have any sort of educational relevance, the experiential aspect of the iPhone - not the surface interest in its "gadgetness" is critical to finding how it might benefit us in a meaningful way. Allan is a strong proponent of the American philosopher John Dewey, and I find considerable meaning in Dewey's notion that everyone is fundamentally capable of living an "artful life" which can add beauty and meaning to the world through social interaction. In recognition of Dewey's philosophy and Allan's every provoking questioning of meaning I've thought of a meaningful way to explore the use of the iPhone.
My son Kelen started 2nd grade this year, so to celebrate, and conduct a small Dewey-esque experiment, I gave him a 2G iPhone which I had rebuilt. My instructions to my son were simple and straight forward, to carry it around with him and do with as he see fit. As my son works and, I hope, learns with his iPhone I'll be updating my blog with observations of what he is learning, his favorite apps, accessories, and everything else.
So if you're interested in the journey, follow this link or click on the photo in the upper left to go to the first group of photos Kelen has taken, no editing has been done, though I have arranged them thematically. Let me know what you think, and keep reading iPhone Life Magazine.