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Mobile technology is no longer a simple mode of communication. The hand-sized smart device is changing how we browse, communicate and learn. Thus, it only makes sense that the education sector is a major beneficiary.
A look at mobile penetration amongst the younger demographics reveals some interesting insights. Cell phone ownership amongst children ages 8 to 12 is as high as 56%. Among the teens, 58% have access to tablets, while 91% will use mobile devices to go online.
There is support from parents for the use of mobile apps in education. 50% agree that schools should use them for learning purposes. 68% report that mobile apps and devices are invaluable reading tools for learners. 67% feel that the tools can help with teaching math.
This article explores how mobile technologies are changing the education system.
Interactive Learning with Mobile Technology
The challenge with reading books for many children is that they get bored. Educational apps and mobile devices bring in the fun element of studying. And one of the ways is with the introduction of interactive learning. The kids can ask questions and receive immediate responses on their mobile devices.
The app developers ensure engagement with plenty of exciting features. Even difficult subjects like math become more interesting to learners.
Learning on the Go
Mobile technology does not restrict students to classroom environments. Indeed, think about it like that businessman who can work while commuting. The same applies to students who can learn on the go.
The most obvious advantage of mobile is portability. The small size of a smartphone or tablet makes them more convenient to carry around than, say, a laptop.
Quick access to information on the internet allows for in-depth exploration of topics. Cloud platforms help with collaboration and information-sharing with peers. There is also full-time access to teachers for information.
So, it doesn’t matter whether the student is on holiday or in a remote location. Learning can continue as usual with internet connectivity and the right mobile device.
Mobile devices are pretty much standard features in students’ lives. The internet has plenty of tech tips. The student can log onto a platform and learn about technology and easily use it to enrich their lives. Parents and school administrators can use such information to simplify technology. So much so that even students of preschool age can understand it.
Self-Paced Learning with Mobile Educational Technology
Another advantage of such mobile educational apps is that they allow for self-paced learning.
The availability of learning resources anytime they need it is convenient. There is no learning barrier of space or time. This simple fact has made it easier for struggling students to stay on track. All without the pressure of trying to keep up with other students.
Self-paced learning also allows students to take greater ownership of their education. Together with the teachers, they can customize lessons to suit learning abilities. Students can then set their own goals, which they work towards achieving.
Gamification of Learning with Mobile Technologies
Gamification is a potent learning tool and one that is gaining traction. The traction is due to end users’ interest in such technologies.
Huge players are stepping into the education gamification market. These include Google, Microsoft, MPS interactive, and NIIT from India. The global gamification market was worth $742.01 million in 2020. Industry projections are a CAGR of 31.29% to the end of 2028. That translates to revenue of $6550.3 million from the sector.
The success of gamification in education is because kids love games. That makes it easy to incorporate learning aids like puzzles, riddles, and math games. Such games also foster a competitive environment in a fun way.
Better Immersion in Learning
For a long time, the teacher’s role has been to impart information to students. The students must do all they can to understand what the teachers are saying. The only tools they both had were books. For many students, education was tedious, boring, and quite challenging.
But now, mobile technologies have changed all that. The teacher stops being the information source and assumes the role of facilitator.
There is also the chance for better immersion into the topics with the education apps. A geography lesson about the earth’s formation comes to life on the screen.
Modeling and simulation allow students to interact better with the subject matter. The result is higher knowledge retention amongst learners. There is also a better understanding of the material, no matter how complex.
Affordability of Mobile Learning Technologies
The traditional learning model can be quite expensive. Parents must buy books upon books and other learning resources for the students. But with mobile educational technologies, you only need the device and internet connectivity.
Some may argue about the cost of buying the devices and paying for connectivity. But if you do a long-term tabulation, you will see massive savings.
There are so many resources available online for students to use. Teachers and other educators can use the same to tailor lessons. There is no need, or attendant cost, of printing books or other learning materials. Virtual classrooms, online sharing, and collaboration have removed the need for all that. Indeed mobile educational technology is playing a big part in sustainability.
And, in case of any updates, the educators can share them with students in real time. The same applies to app developers. All you need is to run the latest updates for the improved version of the educational app. All this enhances the learning experience for everyone involved.
Even take the example of tutoring. Before, the student or tutor would have to go to a specific location for lessons. Video conferencing, emails and cloud sharing have broken down the space barrier. All the parties need to do is log in and continue with lessons. If you calculate the time and travel cost savings long term, it will be quite significant.
Mobile technologies are making a huge difference in learning. The interactive nature of educational apps makes learning fun and immersive.
Gamification of education allows the kids to continue to do what they love, which is gaming. All while getting the education they need. Educational mobile technologies have also broken down the space and time barriers.
Quick access to information means students can learn anywhere and anytime. There is immediate feedback, online collaboration, information sharing, and more.