Every day, I see people playing with smartphones, tablets and laptops. But those gadgets aren’t just about fun and games. Schools are starting to use them as tools to teach students both inside and outside of the classroom in new and innovative ways. In our fast-paced society, learning is now just a swipe or tap away.
What does this mean for education? Well, some of the biggest edtech trends over the next few years, according to Edudemic’s Infographic below, are going to include web-based tools, online resources, personal learning networks and mobile technology. Many of these trends are already having a dramatic impact on the classroom.
- Distance learning in remote areas:
The University of Leicester offers a distance learning program to students who are often working in remote locations, like refugee camps in third-world countries. That makes it hard for them to carry around books and folders. Instead, the school now offers them free iPads that they can use to access course materials. Students were happy to get highly flexible and low weight course materials on the go.
- Interactive apps:
The Open University (OU) has rolled out some new ways for students to learn via mobile software. Smartphone and tablet-wielding students can use the apps to access important course materials, talk to tutors and collaborate with peers whenever they choose to study. Maybe during lunch break at work or even on the train home. All of a sudden getting a second degree while working full time becomes much easier to complete.
- Bite-sized learning through videos & podcasts:
The University of Derby has started to incorporate short videos and podcasts into some of their classes to explain concepts to students. Now students can digest lessons on-the-go. Talk about YouTube being a universal “learning tool” influencing that trend! Learning in short bursts can also make it easier for students to remember information, making mobile devices ideal for distance learning.
- Social learning:
OU uses an app to encourage students to share their e-reading notes with their classmates. The app shows where other students in their classes are on campus, and can also be used to make video calls to tutors. The iOS app for mobile classroom management solution Insight allows teachers to engage even the most shy participants in conversation and Q&A. The result is higher level of success and increased comprehension in class.
Have you used mobile apps in your classrooms? Do you have suggestions on running a classroom with mobile devices?
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