With the turn of the 21st century, technology has advanced tremendously and with it the style of living of people has also changed drastically. The new inventions made in the field of science and technology has certainly helped every individual, as the innovations have provided some sort of relief to human beings. It is rightly said that we are surrounded by machines, as we have become heavily reliant on it. But if the reliance is used in a positive way then there is no harm in using these advanced technological equipments. One such invention, which has evolved with the passage of time, is cell phones. Cell phones are being used by each and every individual, even small kids aged between 5 and 7 can be seen playing games and watching their favorite cartoons on cellphones.
TURN OF THE CENTURY, TURN OF THE SMART PHONES
The highly digitized and advanced versions of cell phones are known as smart phones. Smart phones are basically cell phones that have all the facilities and can perform the basic functions of a laptop or a PC. Smart phones use various mobile operating systems (OS) like Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry etc. These softwares have some exciting features that can be performed on your fingertips. As most smart phones use the touch screen system for operating the phone, these devices have become fairly popular among the working class people. And now we are seeing a rising trend in the use of these modern gadgets in students as well.
INCREASING USE OF SMART PHONES / TABLETS IN EDUCATIONAL LIFE
A recent survey found out that more than 20% of children aged between 5 and 8 use a smart phone. This implies the increasing use of smart phones among youngsters, especially school going children. There is a lot of debate going on as to the consequences of allowing smart phones in classrooms. Although most of the teachers are cautious on this matter, some of them have already allowed students to bring and use smart phones in the classrooms and during lessons. They are of the view that the use of these devices increases the productivity of the students, as they can quickly learn and grasp everything that they are taught. For example, a particular student in a class is not a quick learner as his peers. So when the teacher is teaching a lesson, he cannot understand what the teacher is trying to communicate. Therefore in order to stay along with the class, the use of a smart phone will help him to search and easily understand the lesson or the main idea that a teacher is trying to communicate through different educational e-books and video tutorials available over the internet. Furthermore, the teachers can also take advantage of smart phones in the class room and make the whole classroom a digital learning place, which makes learning fun both for the teacher and the students.
BENEFITS OF MOBILE LEARNING
Mobile learning is becoming very popular among the current and prospective students. You have the whole world in your hands, in the shape of a cell phone. Learning through mobile phones is easier and less straining than a laptop, as the latter is heavy in weight and creates many hassles in the classroom. Mobile learning is easy learning and the biggest benefit of it is that you can take it anywhere you want, in your pocket, and take out all the required information in the blink of an eye. On the contrary, the laptop has some heavy specifications that force it to take time in performing certain operations, such as at start up. There are 3 simple ways in which you can use smart phones in the classroom to enhance the participation and competitiveness of each individual student, these are:
Texting is essential if used in the proper way. You can schedule a question & answer session with your teacher in the evening through texts. You can discuss the homework and various other problems you are facing in completing the homework. Similarly, you can capture videos or pictures of real-world examples of the lessons that are taught in class. Send these pictures and videos through text or mms to your teacher and request the teacher to take out a few minutes at the end of the class to describe that particular example to the whole class.
2. Social Networking:
Create a page of your class on Facebook or a hashtag on Twitter, where all the students can discuss the assignments and homework with their respective teachers and also share important study material. This can be done on your smart phone in your class.
3. Playing Games:
For making learning a fun filled activity, make it a game. Suggest games and apps that will help the students in getting through their curriculum. Play games and use apps that have educational quizzes and important information regarding your concerned subject.
USEFUL EDUCATIONAL SMART PHONE APPS
With more and more people switching towards the digital learning methodology, app (applications) developers and designers are fully aware of this situation and they are engaged in introducing educational apps that are not only useful for the students but also reduce the workload of the teachers. Some of the best apps for educational purposes currently available on different platforms like Android, iOS, Windows etc. are:
i) Google Play Books
This is an exciting new app, as it lets you rent any book for the purpose of reading and taking notes from, for a period of 180 days. This app is not just restricted to android devices, as it is also available on iPhone and iPads.
This app is designed for those students who feel very tired when it comes to transcribing a teacher’s lesson. This app helps to record the complete lecture and create an audio recording note. The recorded file will be sent to your desktop for your viewing at a later time which is convenient for many students.
Finding words in a thick dictionary can be a grueling task. The Dictionary.com app lets you have a dictionary with more than 2 million words available at just a swipe of your finger.
TeacherKit is a complete teaching kit that can record the grades of the students, rank them according to their grades, keep a record of their attendance and much more. It is a very useful app for busy teachers.
This particular app lets the teacher to prepare for the class in an efficient manner. It lets them to take notes about the different things that they read, see or hear which assists the teacher in relating news and media to the class.