The Role of Smartphones in the Education Sector
To begin with,
One of technologies finest inventions was the invention of the smartphone. It has not only changed the way we perceive mobile phones to be, but it has also changed what it can control. One of those aspects is education, and yes, the role smartphones play in the field of education, has changed many lives.
Educational technology, or simply edtech, ensures that everyone creates, uses and manages technology to enable all to learn. In such a time, it is important that one understands specifically the role a smartphone plays in the educational system. Technology in the educational sector has been growing at an exponential rate, and is not without promise.
Still not satisfied?
Here are five reasons why it is a good idea for smartphones to take over the education sector:
- Learning wherever you are, whenever you want. Its called a mobile for a reason. This not only makes learning easier, but a lot more convenient for the student. Tasks can be completed on the fly, notes can be easily taken during class, and learning continues effortlessly outside class hours.
- Preference is welcome. All of your content, in the palm of your hand. A number of possibilities to utilize the content in your smartphone. A student who would prefer studying with the help of a book would choose an online textbook, whereas a visual learner would choose an interactive path to understand visual content, such as the geographical features of a certain continent. Smartphones can be used to express this idea by providing students a number of methods to grasp a certain topic based on their choice of learning.
- Grading on the go. As a teacher, there is a lot of time that’s spent on grading assessments and assignments submitted by a class of 30 students. One of mobile learning’s most important characteristic is enabling a teacher to grade his/her students from a remote tablet or device, and analyze a students progress based on the received real time data. This helps the teacher keep track of students that are falling behind and can assist them with the queries.
- Your teacher on demand. With the help of mobile applications, students not only clear their subject related queries, but also learn a lot more about a specific topic with the help of a Virtual Assistant. A virtual assistant on a mobile application can be asked a question on any of the topics the student is enrolled for, and can provide the student with the answer, explanation and reference resources to further clarify topics. This is most helpful to students after class hours, and can be used at any time of the day.
- Collaboration and cooperation. The role of a smartphone doesn’t only stay within the realm of education. They also help students acquire essential life skills, such as collaboration and cooperation. Students can form groups using mobile applications to collaborate on a group activity or work on a research easily, which also instills in them the characteristic of team work. Team building skills are as important as the skills required to specialize in any field.
The Bad, and the Ugly
There are endless debates on whether to allow students to use their smartphones in classrooms. The main concern with regards to accepting smartphones is whether they will soon be equipped to replace the role of a teacher. The role of a teacher has an emotional value in the setting of a classroom. While facts and statistics are formed on data that mobile applications directly receive, these applications are not well equipped with regards to advising and supporting. Without certified adults to supervise activities and provide council on the choices a student wishes to make, technology would remain still. The idea of educational technology was built around the idea of a role of a perfect teacher.
Another issue with the introduction of digital devices in the classroom is the possibility of unethical behavior during classroom hours, that might make a class difficult to manage. This is one of the main reason smartphones remain banned in countries like India and the UK. Also, an extensive use of devices could have serious implications on a students health, if not monitored.
Needless to say, technology plays a crucial role in the lives of the younger generation, and helps them better their skills and learn in a fast paced environment. Promoting an energetic, enthusiastic and safe environment for learning is the responsibility of an institute.
For more related work, here's a list of articles I've compiled to help you understand more about the growing industry of education technology.