Use of technology, especially giving students the access of mobile devices like tablets in education, sounds like a debatable topic to someone born before the start of digital age. Some are sound enough to embrace the technology as it progresses, while there are some, who need a gentle push towards the acceptance of almost anything!
The world has entered the age of Digital Natives, where using technology in the field of education is not considered to be a big-win anymore! Even though this era has still not reached many under-developed countries, technological advancement is not something these regions are deprived of, baring their use in education!
So, is using technology a too-da-loo to the traditional teaching methods?
Sure as hell, NO!
While using mobile devices or technology as a whole cannot replace the existing education model (the teacher-student model), the use of it can definitely compliment the overall learning experience and make resources available on their fingertips (for smartphones and tablets, literally!).
While we keep talking about mobile devices, tablets and smartphones through the course of this blog, we must keep in mind that it is not just the device that does all work! The software used in each device, in the form of operating systems and different applications, facilitate what it takes to make them usable for any purpose.
Before we get to whether or not tablets, or any mobile devices for that matter, help in higher education, let’s dig a little deep and see what they are potent of doing to enhance learning abilities in young people:
Fact Credits: www.securedgenetworks.com
These figures talk pretty much, don’t they?
The use of such devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops are rapidly taking up the position of age-old static computers. With these devices, students and teachers can not only store information, but they also facilitate communication while on the move; along with giving access to online tools.
Here are 5 most important benefits of using tablets in higher education:
Independent Approach of Learning
“Tech gives the quietest student a voice” – Jerry Blumengarten
Using tablets or other mobile devices in higher education gives an individual and independent approach of learning. Each student gets to take the learning curve to his/her own method of approaching it. A wide range of tools to gather information assists them in the process. Students are able to take lessons, make projects, carry conversations, take assessments and much more.
The image below shows how a mobile device is used for education. Here a student is taking a quiz as a part of the learning module.
Use of mobile devices in learning can also act as a motivating factor. Students, wherever they are, are always connected to the faculty and their peers. It has become easier for them to assess where they stand. With the want to be at par with the rest of them, students remain motivated to learn and excel in their respective areas and spheres. In an inquiry-based learning, use of a mobile device enhances engagement of students in all tasks.
Flexibility of time and location
Introduction of mobile devices in the field of education has given students the ease of gaining knowledge anywhere, at anytime. With these digital devices, learning is possible from any corner of the world; even when they are in the middle of another work. This is a great advantage to those who work and study simultaneously.
On this very note, tablets and other mobile devices can act as great research tools. For subjects like biology and social sciences, mobile devices have proven to be helpful in gathering rich data in the field. These have also been found to be handy for real-time interaction with the instructors, fellow-students and research groups.
It is found in a survey by Pearson Foundation, that use of tablets makes learning fun for 78% college students. Not just that, tablets increase creativity in students, for they have a huge variety of resources, and the learning is no more limited to classrooms and textbooks.
In the areas of science and social sciences, there is a huge scope of a mobile device when it comes to field research and other activities. Below is a snapshot of an image from Google maps as an example on how to use different apps to creatively enhance activities in the learning journey.
Availability of online resources
It is needless to say that using tablets has the advantage of having online resources in the learning process. It is much easier for students to gather information around making assignments, connect with other students and extend their knowledge to new level. Some tablets come with online and offline resources, so access to knowledge is not limited to the availability of internet.
The image below shows the lessons a student has access to, even in the absence of an internet connection.
To sum it all up and to draw a conclusion, we must say that use of mobile devices and the ever-changing technology can do great benefits to the education in all parts of the world. Use of tablets and other mobile devices have been a major breakthrough in education. These devices promote an active learning process, in turn proving more efficient than the traditional learning methods alone.Tags: Digital Learning, digitization, Education in Kenya, higher education, mElimu, mobile devices, tablets