Smartphones make a difference #edtech #eLearning

Smartphones make a difference

There is no doubt now that the advent of new mobile technologies and smartphones has had a huge impact on our lives, and by association the way we learn. This infographic goes some way to highlighting some of the more readily available facts: “Connecting Apps & Education“.

Students how use their smartphones to study are more likely to study more often and more efficiently (despite the complaints from teachers and so-called experts that it is more of a distraction than help?).

Here are a few of the points the infographic makes, with a comment or two from myself:

  • “Students studying on mobile devices are three times more likely to track their progress” – Is this because the app has the ability to track progress or because the students wants to? Is this tracking inherent to the purpose for using the smartphone or a by-product of using it?
  • “60% of students would pay up to £5 for an app to support their learning” – Is this a prescribed app that the teacher has requested they have or one they have been informed via review or their peer group as being beneficial?
  • “One study noted a ten-fold increase in study minutes on mobile devices from 2011 to 2012” – Are the conditions the same in both years, or were students given different resources that made it easier to study on their mobile device in 2012? Questions!!
  • “More than 70% of mobile students use apps that allow them to study with flash cards and quiz themselves” – That’s good, but for basic fact repetition or regurgitation, what about deeper thinking and reflective thinking?

With apps and games like Angry Birds, Minecraft, and the like having learning objectives embedded in them (even if it wasn’t deliberate at the outset of the game) it is not surprising to me that smartphones have had an impact. What is more important is how the teacher can utilise them, bring them inside the building, and open the classroom and the students to really maximise their potential in a child’s learning experience – BYOD anyone (Bring Your Own Device)?