Technology-aided learning has helped in providing learners access to learning – as per their needs. With learning available on mobile devices and a lot of new methodologies like gamification being adopted, the relevance of classroom learning is still not diminishing. There are some training that can be best delivered within a classroom environment, where learners feel most connected with the instructor and their peers. That being said, inclusion of mobile technologies in classroom learning can increase the impact of learning.
However, there are still some reservations for the inclusion of mobile technologies – especially in the minds of instructors. These concerns range from fears of distraction to personal lack of knowledge on how technology works, but these fears can be easily rectified, leading to a more inclusive and technologically advanced classroom that benefits students and teachers alike. Here are some common concerns and how they can be worked around:
• Today, it is a fact that most learners are exposed to the latest trends in technology and modern devices. Learners’ technological literacy may be far greater than the instructor and this may bring in a loss of confidence in handling new technology for learning. But adopting this attitude of defeat leads to a major rift in the learners’ expectations and what the instructor is able to deliver in a classroom. Instructors should take into consideration that most mobile software has built in tutorials that the instructor can take and gain confidence in handling it. Instructors can simply try it out prior to using this technology in the classroom, so that he/she is up-to-date. They can intelligently understand the utility of available apps and choose the right ones for their classroom. Thus the instructor can master technology and can even answer learners’ queries on how to use it. Some teaching apps can be set up and managed on a desktop by the instructor. Learners can then use it on their mobile devices. This can provide a choice in the interface that the instructor wants to choose and work on the one that is most comfortable for him or her.
• Our lives are saturated with mobile technology, and that’s the truth that all instructors face before stating that mobile devices are merely a distraction. Mobile devices are part of the learner’s lives regardless of whether the instructor incorporates its features into providing learning as well. So, availability and huge popularity of mobile devices should be an opportunity for teachers to embrace and channel the interests of their students by integrating mobile devices into classroom learning. The mere existence of technology in a classroom is always going to appeal to students, so it is best to make the most of it and harness that appeal into classroom learning! This way, instructors can avoid conflict with learners over prohibition of their favourite device, while getting students engaged in the lesson by allowing use of the technology that would otherwise be a distraction. It’s also a fact that prohibition typically makes the banned item even more appealing, so an instructor who adopts and shows proper use of mobile devices can teach his/her learners a valuable lesson on responsible use.
• Mobile devices were not invented for learning, so how will it benefit class learning experience? Many instructors often feel this but they need not worry, as they are not required to invent the wheel, but only need to learn how to use it. There are many features of mobile devices that can be utilized in classroom learning. With many available learning applications, instructors can prepare specific assignments for learners to complete, and learners can carry them out using their mobile device. Instructors can utilize readily available learning content lessons and upload it onto mobile software that will adapt it for use on mobile devices. The whole lesson works better when an instructor’s experience and learners’ tech interest is suitably matched. It brings interest and variation into the learning experience because it uses something that learners are excited to learn with. Mobile learning apps can become integral to the lesson structure, and become second nature for instructors and students to use. Instructors should keep in mind that some mobile apps will work better for certain teaching styles than others. For older apps, frequent updates and enhancements can bring in the change that they want to see in their classroom and effectively increase the impact of learning.
Finally, no one can deny that mobile devices are here to stay and the number of available mobile apps is increasing with each passing day. While it is normal to have some hesitation about embracing the new, most instructors agree that student engagement increases and learning outcomes are achieved better when classroom lessons include traditional teaching methods as well as modern educational technology.
Source and suggested further reading: Using Mobile Technologies In Classroom Learning