MEF member Mobiliya assess mobile’s impact on education and examine how mobile technology is shaping the future of how we learn and share knowledge.
It has become a norm to see barely-a-year-old toddlers stumble around with a smartphone in hand. With about 38% kids using tablets and smartphones even before they become 2 years old, it is safe to say that we are truly seeing the rise of the “mobile generation”, who do not know what it is to not own a mobile device.
Kids and young adults, particularly in their pre-teens, reach out to the mobile devices almost intuitively.
And it is this generation that has triggered the fundamental transformation in the education sector, forcing schools and colleges to accelerate to adopt mobile learning platforms, digital tools and online assignments, to keep their young students engaged and keep education relevant.
Mobile Learning: Education Beyond Schools
Here are the top 10 ways in which mlearning (mobile learning) has transformed the education space like never-before:
- Self-paced Learning: A blanket approach to learning was one of the biggest vices of the traditional education system. However, mobile devices have enabled students to learn at their own pace, using the resources of their choice and whenever they want. Mobile devices have successfully transcended barriers of time, space and resources, by making learning tools available to students anywhere, anytime.
- Personalised Learning: Digital technologies have allowed students and teachers to extensively customize their learning experience. While students can choose to learn by watching videos or attending webinars, teachers can create specific courses, tests and assignments to individual students and immediately assign. This not only keeps students interested, but also helps teachers to make focused efforts to enhance student performances. Digital tools helps teachers to easily replicate, customize and assign assignments, playing a huge role in mentoring students with specific weaknesses.
- Device with School Inside: Mobiles have changed the very idea of a school. Students no longer Go to schools, but instead, carry their schools along, wherever they go. Mobile devices enable students to stay connected with their fellow students and teachers 24×7, work on shared assignments or participate in online discussions through integrated forums or video conferencing, giving them an in-school experience even when away from it.
- Learning through Gamification: With kids usually beginning their mobile interactions with fun mobile games, it is a language that they understand well and can relate to. Hence, digital platforms and technologies now allow schools to further learning with the help of fun games like word puzzles, number riddles and math games, instead of tedious worksheets and assignments. This not only keeps the kids hooked to learning, but also helps in driving the competitive spirit.
- Virtual School Bag: The school bag has become a thing of the past. A bag or a shelf stuffed with books is just redundant, when students can access far greater amount of content through a single device within a few clicks. Be it textbooks, other curriculum books or additional study materials, students can now not only access them, but also browse them offline, mark side notes and share, all in one go.
- Virtual Reality: Mobile learning has literally brought alive rote facts, chapters and stories, using advanced virtual reality apps. Instead of just learning a lesson, mobile devices can help students to walk through geographical sites or re-create historic events, enabling a highly “immersive” and fun way of learning for the students.
- Futuristic Learning: Mobile technology driven by cloud apps and services will dominate workspaces for years to come. Thus, preparing our future generations for a collaboration-driven professional environment is only pragmatic. Mobile devices and technologies are preparing students to work on shared assignments, participate in discussion forums and connect with remote teams through video conferencing, and in-effect shaping the 21st century workforce.
- Make Better Teachers: In the pre-mobile era, teachers were restricted to textbooks, curriculum materials and chalkboards. However, mobile devices have allowed teachers to experiment with novel teaching methods and interactive techniques like live chat, video conference and shared studies to make even the most drab and boring lessons fun and interesting for the students.
- Distant Learning: One of the most inherent advantages of digital learning, distant learning truly reached its zenith with the mobile devices becoming ubiquitous. They have truly enabled students even from the most remote areas to connect to urban learning centres through cloud technology, remote learning apps and video conferencing. Students from a rural area can just log in and attend a live lecture being delivered by a teacher in a distant urban school. Teachers, on the other hand, can manage both sets of students simultaneously and seamlessly.
- Diversify Learning: Mobile devices have propelled blended and flipped learning in a prominent way. With almost every student owning a smartphone or a tablet, it is easier for teachers to share additional study materials, videos, audio clips and text documents, providing a diversified learning experience to the students. Students need not be restricted to their textbooks and get the basic information even before entering the class. Teachers are no longer the fountainheads of knowledge and information, but are facilitators of different learning tools and resources that students can choose from.
It is estimated that mobile learners, on an average, study 40 minutes more each week by studying everywhere they go, making mobile learning the most preferred form of education for the future.