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How Mobile Technologies are Changing the Way Education Works

How Mobile Technologies are Changing the Way Education Works

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.

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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.

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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.

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Augmented Reality

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!

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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.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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