What's the Future for Mobile Devices in Education?

Mobile devices have revolutionized things completely and education also had a big impact of the same.

Ever since we started integrating technology in education these devices played a key role. Be it in the form of being in touch with parents for all the information that needs to be communicated or now when student can actually access all their education content on these devices in their hands. Smartphones, laptops, tablets and what not we have tried our hand on all these devices to somehow get the best use of these in education. 

Talking of future of any technology in education or any other industry, I believe I can’t be certain with précised thoughts for the nature of technology is dynamic and unpredictable. However, few things that I see as a part of tech integration on the basis of utility with the use of mobile devices is the presence of cloud, the ability and features to make sure students can access various learning management systems, an eReader with multiple features, individual mobile modules, and a well-functioning tool for all the communication needs that supports multiple ways and languages to communicate.

- Having access to cloud means being able to work anywhere as cloud means that students can transition from working in the classroom to working at home — or anywhere else — easily, as long as they have access to their devices.        

- The ability and features in a device that can align to the needs of various learning management systems is necessary as LMSs will be used hugely.

-   E-readers will be needed when most of the education will happen online. E-readers eliminate that issue and allow real-time updates that are useful to students and teachers immediately, not the next school year when the new textbook is released. Also, the various formats must be supported or have the quick conversion feature so that no delays happen.

- Individual mobile modules gives students the chance to work at their own pace, taking extra time in the areas where they need it most.

- Communication is the key. And it is necessary that the needs of this key feature are addressed. Students come from different backgrounds and the language they speak varies along with it. So it is necessary that the devices must offer option for all. And, communication is not just limited to discussing the performance of the child it goes beyond as teachers have to communicate other important details. Considering this, there must be option where educators can pass on the common information to all at once. Boards where teachers can pin the brochure of the annual meet or the reminder that sports meet will be the next week which is visible to all the parents.

Let’s look at some researches that showcase the importance of the mobile technology in education:

The Pew Research Center survey asked a group of Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers about the educational impact of Internet technology in the classroom. Here’s what those teachers had to say about mobile technology specifically:

73% of the teachers reported using mobile technology in their classrooms, either through their own instruction or by allowing students to use it to complete assignments.

English teachers are more likely to use mobile technology in the classroom than math teachers.

47% of teachers strongly agreed, and an additional 44% somewhat agreed, that students need digital literacy courses to be successful academically and beyond.

Another report from Project Tomorrow's 12th annual Speak Up Research Project surveyed teachers and students at more than 8,000 schools and 2,600 school districts to gain insight on how mobile devices are affecting education. The results were adapted into a report and an infographic.

Key findings from the survey include:

45 % of surveyed administrators say blended learning initiatives have yielded positive results.

27 % of surveyed high school principals say they are not yet offering online courses.

24 % of surveyed students say they would prefer if all their courses were online.

Nearly 75% of surveyed students say that "every student should be able to use a mobile device during the school day for learning.                                             

Though technology is not the silver bullet for all the challenges that are being faced by the education industry, we do see it working in making the sector achieve better and provide better.

In 1995, Steve Jobs famously said that the problems facing education need more than technology to be fixed. Competent, engaged teachers are crucial in the Information Age, and balancing mobile educational advantages with healthy teaching interaction is the mantra to make the best of both the worlds, online and offline.

Make sure you share your views in the comment section below.  

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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