Today we look at a popular topic – ‘The Impact of Mobile Technology in Improving the Learning Experience’. How many of you reading this blog post recollect the early models of the mobile phones that were used by a chosen few in the early nineties? Do you remember those clunky, brick-like devices that used to be lugged around by the rich and the famous? Plus, the insane charges levied by communication service providers for both receiving and making calls. All of it looks like a distant dream and then the ‘501-experiment’ happened. Reliance the conglomerate introduced Nokia and LG phones for Rs 501 and monthly charges. Do you remember those days of flaunting the 501 phone and playing the addictive Snake game or listening to FM radio and humming along? That was the turning point in India’s journey towards a mobile phone success story.
In tandem, many miles away in the USA, Steve Jobs would take centre stage and announce the iPhone and then as they say, the rest is history as iOS and Android by Google would rule the world to come and Blackberry, Nokia’s Symbian 30 OS and Windows Mobile would be decimated. Today, the race is between Android and iOS and the sheer processing power of the devices powered by these operating systems will put laptops and desktops to shame.
The Generation Z Conundrum
This generation, which has been born in the last decade is among the most privileged. They have access to high speed internet, efficient power supply, smartphones that are under US$100, the best of technology and healthcare among other benefits. Now let us look at how this generation has access to world class learning resources.
From Massive Open Online Classrooms or MOOCs to entities like the Khan Academy that put out instructive learning content for free in the form of easy-to-understand videos, answers to practically every query are on offer for free on the Internet. You just need to search using the right combination of keywords and look at the right place!
Generation Z which is in the education system now is truly empowered and connected to the world. All the information that they want they can access it with a click of the mouse or a button on their phone.
The Always Connected Syndrome
Do you use public transport regularly? Well, I do to commute to work and what I have noticed with alarming frequency is the number of people glued to their smartphones. Right from youngsters in college, to the harried IT professional to the government staffer nearing retirement everyone is glued to the mobile phone. It is a rarity to find someone reading a book when travelling by public transport. One may argue that e-books might be what the commuters might be reading but the writing is on the wall, this generation is turning heavily dependent on technology and it is up to us to use it properly for our benefit instead of being pointlessly addicted to technology. Everyone has this urge to stay connected to their friends and there is a fear of missing out or FOMO that triggers panic attacks in them.
Technology in the Classroom
Learning in the classroom is no longer confined to the good old blackboard and the teacher solving out problems on the board or reading out from the text book and students parroting what the teacher reads out of the book. Most schools across India run some form of digital learning solution or the other. It could be as simple as a computer playing out pre-package learning videos from a DVD or the teacher using resources on the Internet to explain concepts to the students. Bigger schools offer personalized learning solutions delivered on to tablet devices given to each student and this is a trend that will really catch on as the number of books that the student is forced to carry will come down in number. Teachers can use animated story-telling tools like Plotagon to create interesting videos and teach children with powerful stories that can be created in a jiffy.
Students can access learning content anywhere and anytime on their tablet devices and can also receive notifications of assignments, exams, tests, results, etc; on their mobile phone or tablet device. This is how technology is making learning accessible to more people around the world. In some of the remotest villages across the country, be it the mountains in Himachal or the rain-forests in Kerala, a silent revolution is taking place as the government takes steps to improve infrastructure and provide cellular coverage. This single step can help learners connect to the Internet and acquire knowledge and connect with learners and teachers from around the world.
Apps and Beyond
You have an app for probably every conceivable need. From periodic tables and pictionaries to log-charts and maths lessons; apps have truly made life simpler for all of us. We live in the era of the app revolution and unless something does not have a app it is not considered to be important!
Tools like uTalk allow users to learn over 130 languages with the help of simple memory-based games and listening exercises right from the comfort of the mobile phone. How cool would it be to learn a foreign language like German, Spanish or Japanese on a mobile phone? Well you can now by downloading uTalk and signing up for an account.
Solutions like Learnium allow teachers to create a closed learning network for students and assign specific tasks and assignments to them. Revisely allows teachers to verify the originality of student assignments, check for plagiarism with Urkund and grade assignments with ease. These are just some of the solutions on offer. Bigger institutions looking for a dedicated learning management system can opt for Brightspace by D2L.
DIYA offers a video-based edutainment platform that allows users to upload DIY-project videos and connect with other DIY enthusiasts and also win redeemable reward points for their videos.
At Ingegno, we believe that technology truly empowers both the learner and educator and we endeavour to offer some of the best products from around the world to you. If you are looking to empower your students and improve their learning experience, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your requirements and we will help you!