Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Google Talk School Cell Phone

Schools usually do a pretty bad job of providing phones to staff. To make matters worse, teachers frequently move between rooms -- and thus between phones. While office workers may leave the building to smoke or pickup some coffee, teachers frequently are on the job in play grounds and monitoring the loading and off-loading of school buses.

Clearly, school staff require mobile phones. While cell phones and signal repeaters can work, the cost of 40-70 dollars a month per phone can be opressive. Nokia has a Linux-based phone that run's Google's free talk service. Because the wireless signal is that of your computer network and not from a cell phone tower, you have great control over where the phones will work. To make make things better, the phones can operate on the Internet and be used to access school systems. So, for example, you want to find a parent's telephone number or look at the school calendar, this unit would be able to do it easily and for free. Google has just announced a new version that offers faster speed and more features. While the price of $300-400 may seem a lot when compared to the free cell phones the big carriers give away, the price is not all that much when one thinks of the monthly service charges and extra control your school will have.


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