The twenty-first century has been swept up in a veritable mobile revolution. All work and all play happens on screens of various sizes, and paper is being quickly replaced by pixels in day to day life. Research indicates that mobile technology is an ideal tool to facilitate a more engaging learning and teaching experience, and with the tech-savvy generation of children we are raising, it appears that mobile technology will change the way traditional classrooms operate. Whether it’s building an ecosystem of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or personalising teaching with remote learning through tablets, you can employ cellular technology in so many ways to enhance learning collaborations.
If you’re in the education space and wondering how you can marry mobile technology with learning, we’re here to inspire you. Here are eight ways to add mobile learning to your classroom.
Remember the days back in school when you would turn in homework only to receive a one-word comment in return? Mobile technology can enhance the feedback process from teacher to student. By recording feedback for a given assignment using the audio feature of a smartphone, the feedback process is short and quick for a teacher, and gratifying for a student. In turn, students can listen to the feedback on their devices.
Adequate feedback can motivate and encourage a student to work harder, work on areas of improvement and strive to earn better feedback in the future. Research shows that students enjoy receiving feedback this way, and favour it over other forms of feedback.
Live Quizzes and Tests
Real-time digital quizzes and tests can provide a more immersive learning environment than paper evaluations. Not only can these types of tests gauge a student’s understanding of a range of topics, they can also identify strength and weakness areas that can be digitally grouped so that an individual learning plan for each student can be developed.
Classrooms have taken on a whole new meaning with the dawn of the information age. Distances can be overcome and classes can be accessed with just an internet connection today. Virtual classrooms are becoming increasingly relevant, especially in higher education when specific skills and courses offered by an institution may be sought by students all over the world. Turnkey technologies like Pinlearn make this possible. Institutions can set up Pinlearn within a few short days without burning a hole in their pocket. And with its responsive design and superior technology layers, the platform can fuse a classroom together, even with students spread across various geographies.
Lengthy essays don’t necessarily equate to sound learning in the classroom. Today, with the availability of video recording tools such as smartphones and tablets, students can express themselves through visual mediums rather than handwritten submissions. This promotes creativity, curiosity and originality, whereas essays and articles are generally copied excerpts from the internet.
Smartphones now come equipped to support a multitude of virtual chat features. Teachers can make learning more holistic by keeping students connected virtually after school and over the weekend. Learning shouldn’t be restricted to the classroom. With remote connectivity, discoveries and interesting topics can be shared with others, to encourage class participation from home and support continual learning. With a platform like Pinlearn, video discussions with several participants are possible too!
Quick Response (QR) codes are so passé, you must be thinking. Perhaps you’re right in a way, because brand marketing and retail merchandising programmes are sunsetting QR codes from their displays. But QR codes are the perfect application of mobile technology in a classroom setting. They open doors to additional content, supplementary resources, diagrams, explanations, videos and further reading. Students can uncover a web of information with a single swish of a phone, avoiding long web addresses and accessing relevant information instantly. Conversely, they would have to venture through a multitude of links to delve into the same data on the internet, a process that very few students would bother to go through. Thus, QR codes provide a productive sequence of learning.
Websites like Qurify allow teachers to create their own QR codes, so that they can establish a pattern of thoughts for their students as they sift through articles for additional material. Monica Burns, author, speaker and founder of ClassTechTips.com, vouches for the benefits of QR codes for teachers. Through a combination of interactive learning through iPads and QR codes, she has elevated teaching to a system of collaborative interaction.
There is no dearth of educational applications available for devices today, whether for news, current affairs or knowledge-building. When it comes to learning through devices, children begin to disassociate knowledge with dull lectures and dreary assignments. Learning and playtime melt into each other to form fun, educational experiences.
Take Google Arts and Culture, an informative learning app available on the Google Play Store. The app takes students on 360 degree panoramic tours across hundreds of historical sites, landmarks and museums, providing enriching insights about world heritage, artists, artwork and stories of significance. There’s another app in the app store that stands out. It is called Photomath, an app that works as a substitute for a maths tutor. Take a photo of a mathematics problem, upload it onto the app, and voila, Photomath will show you how to solve it. It will break down the steps so that you are clued in, every step of the way. Applications like these are paving the path for instant solutions in an instant age.
Remember how heavy your bag could get in school? Digital textbooks are technology’s answer to obsolete and heavy textbooks. Because they can be continually updated, they provide an edge over traditional textbooks because they continue to stay relevant. They are also more engaging and organised, and allow students to apportion chapters, study collaboratively and bookmark important topics for further reading. But most of all, multiple textbooks can be integrated into a single digital device, and save students the weight of carrying a heavy schoolbag. Digital textbooks are also more economical than their hard-copy counterparts.
The proof of the pudding is the fact that print publishers have seen a decline in sales over the past few years. Pearson, a global publisher of educational material, has witnessed a fall of 14% in course material spends by students in the last ten years. It has now announced that it will invest almost $930 million per annum to transition to digital publishing.
Education is undergoing several changes. Publishers, teachers and educational institutions are embracing the tools available to them to enhance learning experiences across the world. The key lies in innovation. Be part of the ed-tech revolution by championing a part of that change!