Articles for Teachers
Today’s students are digital natives who are more likely to get engaged and prosper if given the chance to use mobile technology for learning. So if you’ve been thinking about implementing it in the classroom, just do it! Regardless of the method (BYOD or 1:1 iPad initiative), if you embrace it there will be plenty of benefits for you and your students. The following is the information of how it’s used to improve various segments of learning, what are its challenges and goals for the future.
About 50 percent of children under the age of 12 own a cell phone and that trend is on the rise. Since their use of mobiles developed into a routine, educators are experimenting with its use for teaching and learning and the possibilities are endless, since there are plenty of innovative mobile features that can enable following:
There is just one more thing left to do and that is to develop a standardized strategy for integrating mobile learning into schools. This strategy would increase number of quality programs in the United States which are currently on the lack, according to experts.
Many schools still hesitate to use mobile technology for learning, but there are also many that have created their own innovative strategies in the classroom.
Although the list is long, it can be narrowed to five unique benefits that mobile technologies bring into classroom:
- It extends learning process beyond the classroom walls - students are given the opportunity to learn anytime from anywhere on the device that they already use almost all the time.
- Because of mobile technology’s prevalence, it’s relatively inexpensive.
- With mobile devices students are learning social skills that are required for success in the 21st century.
- Given that mobile devices are small they don’t cause disruption within the learning environment, but rather easily fit into it.
- Because mobile devices are multifunctional and can be easily customized, learning experience is made more personalized.
The challenging part
However, integration of mobile technology in education is followed by numerous challenges as well:
Mobile devices may negatively impact students’ health as well as their privacy.
They can even contribute to unethical behavior among students.
Most parents and teachers find that mobile devices contribute to depravity of cultural values and that they can only distract children from learning.
Since there is no accepted m-learning theory, the credibility of such approach is under question.
One of the greatest challenges for teachers is the immense number of mobile devices.
Mobile technologies with usage limitations and poor designs can make a negative impact on learning .
Setting goals for the future
These challenges should not have a discouraging effect, but rather be taken as motivation for finding the most effective and creative ways to implement these technologies in education. Setting goals is the first step toward success:
The first one is comprehension of what mobile language means for educational reform, and this requires research and support from private and public sectors.
Educator must introduce mobile learning to public, and spread the understanding of how technology improves education for all children, regardless of their age.
Educators must be trained and prepared for integration of mobile technology in their teaching strategies.
Country’s leadership must provide support for the use of mobile technologies in the classroom.
The bottom line is that mobile technologies have the potential to remarkably transform education into more engaging process. In spite of all the challenges if used the right way, mobile technologies can drive students to learn more and to comprehend that knowledge as well. But keep in mind that mobile technology is a magnificent tool, it cannot make the impact on students’ achievement without engaged, competent teachers, and as Steve Jobs once said:
The most important thing is a person. A person who incites your curiosity and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can.
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