Tablets and smartphones are radically transforming how we access and share knowledge by connecting us to near-infinite volumes of information. We enjoy the instant access to knowledge; from the informal music lessons on YouTube to the formal online university courses. While the majority of us are absorbed and excited about mobile learning, traditional schools are still struggling to leverage the opportunities in this area. Darell West affirms that
“despite the emergence of digital learning models, most countries around the world still design their educational systems for agrarian and industrial eras than modern society.” West, who specifically talks about mobile technology in learning, further points out that with the economy shifts and the emergence of technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics, countries will have to update their training curriculum to train these new skills in the 21st century. So, let’s have a look at how mobile learning is changing the educational system.
Today, some people still connect education to a certain period in their lives; starting school at the age of five and going through all the levels of learning up to the university, and then working stage of life begins. This learning model, which was practiced in the industrial era, is quickly becoming less relevant due to the emergence of technologies, such as mobile learning.
Education is constantly being interconnected with our daily activities. Using our phones and tablets, we are constantly downloading life or work-related learning materials with instructions like how to use a certain software program. People of all age groups are enrolling in specialized online courses such as game theory, during their free time. The constant learning that mobile devices offer today is constantly changing the old educational system.
West says various studies show that learners are open to using technology for learning and are aware of learning tools like virtual reality, online courses, and instructional video games. This learners’ interest in using technology is partly because of the ability of mobile learning technology to customize content for individual learners, unlike the traditional educational system.
The accessibility of the vast amount of information allows for in-depth exploration of individual interests and the use of a variety of auditory, textual, and visual learning experiences. This works well especially if you are dealing with a classroom of diverse learners who have unique learning styles and varied backgrounds and interests.
The traditional educational system requires an instructor to continuously grade items for students and provide feedback, which is often ineffective due to the slow response time. On the contrary, mobile learning provides detailed data analysis tools that allow instantaneous assessment on whether the learner is meeting the learning objectives or not. This ensures that slow learners get an opportunity to learn important concepts at their own pace, and those who are ahead won’t get bored waiting for them.
In conclusion, mobile technology is transforming education and acting as a catalyst for creating impactful changes in the traditional educational system. This revolution has enabled instantaneous assessment and feedback for students, with personalized and continuous learning. West adds that this learning technology is central to supporting critical-thinking and collaborative learning, because these are the skills learners need to secure places in this globally competitive economy.