The messed-up reputation
Mobile phones have always been associated with wastage of time, shortening attention spans, lack of social interaction, and everything that is not very positive when it comes to teenagers and learners on the whole. It is quite true that these cellular devices have not had extremely constructive results ever since they got into the hands of the generation that inhabits schools, colleges and universities. However, if it hasn’t been a success when it comes to the contribution to education yet, will it never be? Is it something which cannot ever be changed? The prospect remains that this technology can be a valuable tool in imparting knowledge, and there are people in the field of technology and education who agree.
Behold the power
Mobile phones are powerful devices when you come to think how engaging and at the same time resourceful they are. This statement becomes truer than solid gold when we come to smart phones and mobile apps. If the power can pull students away from their textbooks, it can be channeled to get them to study, surely. Imparting education in ways different than the conventional one is what mobile phones can give us, which is a great advantage and quite a breakthrough in the field of education. Not to mention that this will earn back the mobile phone some of its lost repute in the world of books and knowledge!
How to go about it?
It can be done. Yes. It might reap great results. Sure. However, once we have established these two things, the question arises of how will it be done? If mobile phones are to make the next headline in the papers on education and technology, what is going to be the text in the rest of the news report? The educators and technologists need not worry, the experiment is already underway! Around the world, educational institutions are already using mobile phones to facilitate education. Technologists are busy creating educational apps from levels through play school to university. The journey has already begun.
With the introduction of smart phones, almost everything which can be accessed through a personal computer can now be accessed through a mobile phone. Be it pdf textbooks and ebooks of any sort, be it syllabus and course content files, be it assignments, be it online information resources and digital libraries, everything is now available in the palm of our hand. The mobile phone has already scored one.
The next most significant thing that we notice is the tons of educational apps that are flooding application clouds and online application stores these days. There are apps for every age and for every education level. A child who goes to play school or kindergarten is just as likely to find an interesting piece of software that keeps them engaged while teaching them, as a university-level student is. The apps have different ways to impart knowledge than conventional textbooks and lectures, and that is where the magic lies. We can never stress enough the importance of the conventional methods of education which are established as successful, but the significance of coming up with new ways to teach and learn is something that cannot be played down either. Since mobile phones engage students so much, they are a great bet.
Another thing which we cannot ignore is how effective mobile phones are in the conventional classroom environment as well. Students are often found benefitting by recording their teacher’s lectures for future reference using their mobile phones, and that is indubitably something that helps them when they are doing a self-study. Not only that, but the note-taking features in smart phones and tablets are being used by students to jot down lectures.
A few things to watch out for
While integrating mobile phones into the conventional educational environment does seem like the way to go, and it definitely has its advantages, we must keep in mind that whenever it comes to new experiments like this, the educators and parents must know where to draw a line. This cannot be stressed enough. Whenever a new experiment is done by scientists, it is done in a controlled environment. Let us say that this experiment involving education and technology is not much different. We must be bold enough to embark on new journeys like this one, but must also have the guts to call a halt when we must!
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