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Technology 2017-06-22

​Why young learners are more keen to Learn on their Mobile Phones

Mobile learning helps students utilise various social and content platforms to their maximum potential.

By Reetika Bose Feature Writer

Mobile phones are a universally accepted and acknowledged staple point.It is a must-have item for every individual in the present day and age, especially among the youth. We are now addicted to our phones and are often unable to get through an entire day without using them. This trend of using smartphones has caught on with generations for whom, back in the day, mobile phones were more a luxury than an actual necessity. 

Previously the hype was around pagers; the must-have of the time. Owing to the progress that technology has made, mobile phones are now being used as a tool for education by young learners.We are now following the path of M-Learning from E-learning.Today smartphones have evolved from their primary purpose and are redefining the way we access information.

Mobile learning helps students utilise various social and content platforms to their maximum potential. Firstly, with the advent of digital technology and the internet there was a shift from learning through traditional textbooks in a classroom setting to new media education through computers and laptops. However, with rising competition between electronic heavy weights in the market sphere, mobile phones were transformed into smartphones with all the features one can find on a computer.Consumers,especially the youth having realised this, began focusing on utilising these devices for all other purposes aside from the usual calling and texting. Mobile phones are now enhancing and upgrading students’ learning experience. Earlier podcasting and sharing of audio and video recordings of live lectures were unthinkable, which makes one wonder how times have changed.Learning via smartphones can now extend beyond a classroom setting.A student’s creativity is enhanced to a great extent and can be regarded as an aspect of informal learning for them.

Smartphones are popular tools for education on account ofnumerous reasons: they are highly accessible with the requirement of only a mobile signal which can be accessible virtually anywhere.With mobile phones, sharing information to friends and colleagues is achievable as it is instant and provides prompt feedback. The additional benefit of a smartphone apart from being effortlessly portable is also that it is highly convenient to store loads of information in a single device, which was earlier not conceivable.Smartphones have replaced the hassle of carrying heaps of textbooks;with the help of digital technology, students can easily highlight words and search keywords in their phone instead. We are blessed to see this evolution of technology, now evenstudents with special needs such as those who are visually- impaired can utilise the voice automation option on the phone to hear the audio version of text on their devices. Students who have a hearing disability can also learn from sign-language video features available on the internet which are easily attainable on their mobile phones.

Smartphones has helped young adults in the educational scenario by assisting them in their projects and even daily homework. Our phones are convenient when we have to look up a definition or do research on topics related to our assignments. Students can easily share notes with their peers via a smartphone, even for revising before exams one could easily browse on their mobile phones while traveling rather than carrying cumbersome books. They also check from their phones emails on important school updates, I am aware that many of them have whatsapp groups to share important information as well. Nowadays, specific educational groups and online hubs are created to help students collaborate, receive and share information which makes learning concepts and subjects easier for them.

Till the 90s the interaction between a student and mentor were only confined to classroom walls, but now online interaction is possible. Online guidance is available to the students for any aspect related to their education, be it through email, instant messaging, and video call etc.It’s remarkable how even a PowerPoint presentation can be created on mobile devices. Educational software such as Microsoft Office which was earlier thought to be only accessible though laptops are now available on one’s smartphones. These new media technology devices are also useful for students embarking in distance education as now with the help of mobile phones intranet facilities of a university can be accessed which contains various details such as attendance of the students, their course list, examination results, and it also informsthe students about the upcoming events and seminars.Further, various education based apps are at hand for students to further heighten their learning experience. Educational games and information are now stored in these apps where students can readily take advantage of them by downloading them in their mobile devices.

In a nutshell, mobile technologies are continuously developing the way we receive and share information and it will be interesting to note what future technologies will be added to smartphones which will transform the way we function in our lives.

This article is written by Gun Nidhi Dalmia, Author of 'Harp' (A Romantic Novel)

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