As mobile devices become increasingly common throughout the United States, some schools are beginning to gravitate toward finding creative ways of using them in the classroom. It might be a bit hard to believe – in many places, mobile phones or tablets are routinely confiscated by teachers as a form of punishment. Soon, however, we could be seeing an educational world that actually encourages their use in schools.
Consider some of these reasons why schools are beginning to use mobile devices in the classroom:
- Media-friendly. Not only do tablets give an easy way to read textbooks, but they also give access to media such as photos, video and audio. Educational video clips, historic speeches and interactive data charts and graphs are all at the fingertips of students through the use of tablets.
- Economical. Textbooks aren’t cheap. It has become far more economical to take all of the textbooks a child or college student needs and place them in digital form on a tablet than to order enough math, science and social studies textbooks for an entire classroom. While the initial price of tablet may be somewhat expensive, the total cost is significantly lower in the long run, especially as those prices continue to fall.
- Lifestyle-friendly. Today’s students are constantly on the go. From home to school to various extracurricular activities, students are constantly hauling around backpacks from place to place. Mobile devices like tablets are an easy way to combine all of a student’s books and supplies into one thin, light piece of equipment.
- Modern. The introduction of computers into schools in the 1990s was a major step forward for how students learned in the classroom. It stands to reason that an upgrade to mobile devices would be the same. Many students already use smartphones and other touchscreen technology devices, which means that there would be a minimal learning curve. We have reached the point where these devices are truly an everyday technology, which makes them fitting for use in an educational environment.
- Portable. Given that much of the data saved on tablets comes through a cloud-based server, students can take their work anywhere around school, at home or anywhere else. They are constantly connected to their education. This also makes it harder for students to “forget” their work, if it’s saved at a central location!