Smart mobile technology is changing the way kids are educated. A decade ago, education websites mushroomed all over the Internet; today, it is educational mobile apps for smartphones and tablets that are championing the cause of boredom-free education. Mobile services are helping institutions break the monotony and reach out to students, and developers are finding ways of building apps that can function as a part of the classroom.
Smartphones and tablets have more going for them than the ‘cool’ factor though: mobile technology has the power to overcome geographical boundaries, blur socioeconomic boundaries, and create a level playing field for all students. Let’s take a look at how mobile technology is impacting education.
Tablet Plus Educational App Equals Smart Studying
A recent report by Nielsen states that tablets are proving to be an interactive learning tool for kids with tablet-owning families, with 57% of children using educational apps and 77% playing downloaded games. While 77% play games, the fact that almost 57% study on their iPad is a revelation. Why do little kids like to use tablets for studying? Tablets make learning fun.
Traditional publishers and toy companies are also working hard to stay relevant by digitizing their offerings: Random House has decided to use mobile technology to transition most of their printed works into digital versions, while Lego has created an iPad app to bring its classic line of building blocks digital to children. Toddlers are growing up with tablets, and the way they learn has already changed.
Next-Gen Mobile Devices
Devices based on mobile technology will clearly have a winning edge in the educational sector. The latest example of such a device is Google’s Glass, a device that can spell doom for the existing classroom structure.
With a device like Google Glass, students will have access to a variety of educational live streams, eliminating the need to be present in a class. Mobile education will allow students and teachers to share knowledge at any time, at any place. Regular classes may become infrequent; especially for college students.
It is tempting to think, “What if the whole classroom lecture gets live-streamed for a group of students or for the world to attend?” It would be interesting to see the impact of such mobile technology on the future of education.
Crowd-Sourced Education Services
Mobile technology will pave the way for more crowd-sourced projects, such as the Khan Academy and Coursera, that impart education of diverse subjects. Though these are much appreciated ventures, even better, bigger, and more streamlined educational giants will be created through crowd-sourcing.
With a wealth of information available on the Internet, millions of people have mastered several subjects without even having met any teacher. As the knowledge bank grows and gets better organized, we may see many opt for online schooling. Mobile devices will make this move more palatable.
Augmented Reality is revolutionizing the existing education systems, making them more dynamic for students as well as teachers. Educational projects all around the world are using augmented reality as a learning tool.
For instance, MITAR Games, an MIT-Education Arcade project, is exploring the possibilities of using augmented reality to equip students with real-like skills. The aim of this project is to pique student interest in simulation games that combine fun gameplay with real world experiences.
Most students spend an inordinately high amount of time on playing mobile games. Imagine if someone manages to create a hit game that doesn’t help players develop amazing zombie-killing skills but helps them learn something that would actually help in real life!
To Wrap It Up
With mobile gaining significance in the education distribution method, there will obviously be a tug-of-war between the traditional and the non-traditional methods of education. But the move towards digitalization of education has already commenced, and the coming years will see a concretization in the field of personalized, mobile education.