A first time user’s guide to the impact of the mobile device on student learning
What is a mobile device and learning on a mobile device?
You might think that a mobile device only refers to the use of mobile or cellular phones within the classroom environment, usually to the distraction of students. However, in this blog, we will be talking about the use of mobile devices such as tablets, laptops, Chromebooks, mobile or cellular phones etc. to enable learning.
The impact of the mobile device on learning is far-reaching and comprehensive. To begin with, at the outset, it is the naturalization of advanced technology within the classroom context for students. This means that students who might already be embracing technology will get used to using it for learning and development purposes, instead of just games. Enhanced learning materials such as the use of dynamic visual mediums like pictures and videos and gifs are made possible through the impact of the mobile device in the classroom. The effect of using the mobile device in student learning also has consequences beyond the school – students are using tools they will be using in their employment, thus making the future ready during their schooling itself.
But what counts as learning on a mobile device? Any time a mobile device such as a tablet, mobile or cellular phone, laptop or Chromebook is used to aid in teaching or learning of the classroom curriculum, it can be counted as learning on a mobile device. This might involve everything from reading course materials on the mobile device to playing educational games on the mobile device, to even answering examinations on the mobile device. The use of the mobile device in the classroom can easily be integrated into the most traditional and old fashioned classroom easily, with the investment of an initial start-up cost and some training for both teachers and students.
The impact of the mobile device on student learning is thus as comprehensive and extensive as its use within the classroom or educational institution.
What is the impact of the mobile device on students and student learning?
The effect of the mobile device on student’s and student learning is quite broad. With the growth of education technology and its pervasiveness within the educational ecosystem, the impact of the mobile device on student learning is meaningful. Extensive research has thus been conducted about the impact of the mobile device on student learning. Some of the more far-reaching effects of the mobile device on student learning are discussed in greater detail below:
Improved understanding for students
Recent research has shown that an improved understanding of materials is another impact of the mobile device on student learning. One of the key issues teachers face is that different students learn at different paces and it might be difficult to gauge this individually for each student. The impact of the mobile device here cannot be undersold – since the impact of mobile device usage is limited to the use if individual devices by each student, learning can also happen at an individual pace. Improved understanding for students this is a big impact of the mobile device in the classroom and in educational institutions. It addresses a key need of teachers across the educational ecosystem.
Equity in access to mobile learning
One of the key things educational experts and champions advocate for is the flattening of the playing field for students through the use of technologies. It is no different for the use of the mobile device in the classroom. The students who use hardware like mobile devices, like laptops, tablets, Chromebooks etc experience the positive impact of the mobile device on student learning across the board. This means that it is creating more equitable access to learning – means every student has the same access as their fellow student to the same materials.
The need for equality in learning cannot be overstated in today’s world. It is one of the biggest signifiers of social mobility, and if the impact of the mobile device on student learning is access to more learning and thus more opportunities later in life, the impact of the mobile device on building a better world cannot be ignored. Stakeholders in the educational ecosystem must thus work towards in ensuring the impact of the mobile device on student learning is experienced by students all across of the world.
Empowering more proactive learning
A more proactive approach to learning is another impact mobile device has on students in the classroom according to a new study conducted on students using mobile devices in the classroom. The study demonstrated that the impact of the mobile device in the classroom for the purpose of the student had a positive impact in how proactive students became about their learning. Students taking a greater interested in learning their course material.
Proactive learning is important to build an interest in learning and education itself for students and it is an effect of the mobile device that is easily achievable for most educational institutions. All they need to do is invest in the initial costs of acquiring mobile device – anything from tablets to laptops would suffice here – to some initial time investment in training students to use them well and experience the full positive impact of the mobile device on their learning.
Improved conversational skills
Another academic research study has shown that another effect of the mobile device in student learning is the improvement of their intra student conversational skills. In this study, on the group of students was given a mobile device to study the impact of the mobile device on improvement in English conversational skills. Another group was just used as a control with traditional face to face teaching methods. After a period of time, when both groups of students were tested on their conversational skills, the effect of the mobile device on English language conversational skills was found to be beneficial to the students, even more so than the control group. This demonstrates that the impact of the mobile device on student learning is positive as far as improving speaking and communication skills in English goes.
Greater academic achievements
The very same academic research study as above also demonstrated another effect of the mobile device on student learning. Researchers in this study found that the students who were using the mobile device through their learning had higher academic achievements compared to the control group who are learning in the classroom. This means that those students that were using mobile device had better scores and academic achievements.