5 Reasons to Use Mobile Technology for Education

Being an educator today is very exciting. It is 2011. We have rolled over to a new year and there are so many educational opportunities on the horizon. Today’s technological advances are as monumental as the world-changing inventions of paper or the printing press. Information is dispensed at increasingly rapid speeds.

However, the speed and methods we use to absorb information has not changed, but our access to it and the ways that we interact with that information has changed greatly.

As human beings, we continue to process information the same way that we always have – through our 5 senses. For education, we usually rely upon our eyes, ears and sense of touch. If you own a smartphone or mobile device (especially an iPad), you hold an incredible educational tool in your hands. Why, you ask? Because it is interactive and multi-sensory.

How is an iPad different from a computer, is another question you may be asking? Here are my top 5 reasons why an iPad is superior to a regular computer and even textbooks when it comes to learning.

1. No mouse! As quickly as we all pick up the concept of a mouse moving a cursor on a screen, it is still an extra step for the information to travel from the brain to the device and vice-versa. When a child uses his finger to manipulate information or draw in a letter or a shape, there is no extra step of the mouse to get in the way.

2. No cords! You can take a iPhone or an iPad with you anywhere. In fact, that’s the whole point – technology on the go. You can learn from anywhere – not just a school desk or a kitchen table.

3. No books! Now, I love books and have thousands of them, but you can learn everything from Spanish to math to grammar to handwriting, all from one single device without having to lug around an armful or backpack full of books.

4. Less waiting! Installation of an app is much quicker than installing software onto a computer.

5. Less expense! Frankly, I think that apps are too cheap, but why not take advantage of it while this is the trend. Take foreign language for example… You can buy a textbook for $50 or more, or computer software for upwards of $200 or more, to help your child learn a new language. Or you can buy an app for $4.99. This is simply amazing technology at ridiculously low prices.

TIP – If you do purchase apps for education (and you should if you have the technology!), then remember to back-up your iPhone or iPad to iTunes so that you can re-install it if ever it gets inadvertently deleted or you replace your device with a new one.

New Technology In Education

Not every person would recognize the structure and approach to learning in the standard classroom these days. More and more schools are turning to technology to help teachers teach and students learn. There are laptops and iPads in the hands of students and whiteboards that teachers and students can operate like a computer with a simple touch of the finger. New technology in education continues to grow, so it is fitting that schools seek to implement it into their programs. Some of the latest technology trends that you might find in the classroom include a flipped classroom, using text messages to engage students, utilizing blogs for learning, and even sites on which to store and share study materials.

A flipped classroom is one type of new technology in education that is becoming increasingly popular. Imagine if you could listen to your teacher’s lecture at home and then go to school to do your homework. That is exactly what a flipped classroom does. Teachers post their own videos where students can access them from home. Students are responsible to listen to and study the lecture, then come to the classroom ready to do their coursework. It allows for more one on one interaction with the teacher by simply taking the lecture time out of the classroom.

Some teachers are also embracing text messaging in certain instances. In the appropriate setting, text messages allow teachers to reach all students-even those who might otherwise be a little too shy to speak up in class. With text messages, every student can voice his or her opinion on a given subject. It also helps to keep students engaged in the lesson as opposed to using their text messages as a distraction.

Blogs are also a new technology in education. Teachers are helping students to learn how to use blogs to document school projects, such as science experiments. This is usually done with special blog software that lets kids do this in a safe and secure environment rather than exposing kids to a regular internet accessed blog right away.

Schools can even provide students and teachers with a secure site on which they can share notes, videos, and more. Study materials and teaching resources can be made easily available for students and teachers in a given network to share and access, making learning and teaching even more accessible.

New technology in education brings learning and teaching to an entirely new level. The items listed above are just a few of the latest technological education trends. Only the future can tell where it will lead students and teachers next.

Effects of Technology on Education

Education has changed significantly in the last twenty years. One of the main reasons education has undergone so many changes is because of technological development. In 1990, computers and other forms of technology served a minimal role in the classroom. Today, many if not most college students attend class with a laptop. I am writing about some of the biggest advantages technology gave to education.

Technology has made research much easier. Before online Encyclopedias, Google Scholar, JSTOR, and other online research tools were available, students were forced to spend numerous hours in the library. With the new tools, students can conduct research faster in the comfort of their homes. With Google and other search engines, students can find relevant information faster and more efficiently. Also, there is no more need for intensive memorization as information is more readily available.

New also technology allows for a faster, more efficient, and more interactive classroom experience. With Powerpoint presentations and projectors, there is no need for blackboards and whiteboards. With clickers, students can take quizzes during the classroom.

These developments also help improve tutoring services. Online tutoring programs are becoming available. One-on-one in-home tutoring programs are also being aided these developments. Tutors can bring laptops to sessions allowing them to look up information, and show examples to the student more easily.

Wi-fi technology allows students to study in more comfort and a more ergonomic setting.

New mathematical software such as Maple and Mathematica allows students to make a computer algebra computations more easily. Software like Matlab and Scilab allows students to make numerical computations more easily. There is no more need for a line rule. Advanced Texas Instrument and Casio calculators allow students to solve equations and produce graphs. Online software such as Webassign allows students to submit mathematics assignments online with instant feedback.

The internet allows students to read books and educational supplements at home. There is no need to go to a bookstore or library. Since many of these sources are open source or funded by advertising, students can access these materials for free. Wikipedia, Wikibooks are good examples. Students can learn more without leaving their house.

College applications and job applications can now be complete online. Students can deliver important paperwork to universities and employers at a much faster rate.

Online education allows more students to get an education. Handicapped students, students that have to travel a lot, and students with jobs can now complete their degrees wherever they go with a flexible schedule and often at their own pace. Due to its lower costs, online education also benefits lower-income students.

Technological development allowed the creation of new IT jobs and improved economic development in general.

Not all effects of technology on education are positive. Technology also allows students to cheat more easily. However, new technology allows instructors to detect plagiarism. Technological developments can also discourage critical thinking since answers are more readily available. Technology also encourages students to spend their time doing other activities such as playing video games and participating in social networking.

Overall, technological development in the 1990s and 2000s appears to be beneficial to education. Currently, technology improvement follows Moore’s law which states that computers become twice as efficient approximately every two years. Today, one can purchase a well performing personal computer (without a monitor, software, and other accessories) for as low as $123.99. Recently, I have not spent over $250 on a desktop computer and it allowed me to do very advanced computations like high-sample Monte Carlo algorithms. If the trend continues, students all over the world will be able to afford desktops and laptops contributing to a better global education.