Technology is infiltrating the field of education at a breathtaking speed. In a few years, mobile devices have gone from bright, shiny new gadgets to indispensable learning tools in the classroom.
Recent research suggests that 41% to 66% of K-12 students in the U.S. had access to mobile devices, such as tablets, at school or home. That’s according to “A New Digital Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students’ Activities and Aspirations,” a report from the educational nonprofit, Project Tomorrow
, which polled 3.4 million students, teachers, administrators, and parents in late 2013.
And the trend shows no signs of slowing. The classroom of the future will rely on 1:1 devices, where all students will have a tablet or laptop right beside them, ready to be used whenever and however they choose. Some cash-strapped schools are allowing students to bring their own devices to class, a practice called “BYOD.”
So how do students use their devices during the school day – and afterwards outside of class? :
They record themselves reading on their iPods to perfect pronunciation. Viva el Espanol!;
They create videos and record audio over the top explaining how they got their answers;
They send vocabulary words back and forth from classrooms;
They actively engage with the video they’re watching by answering questions on their device;
They hide videocaches and use geocaching.com so members of the public can search for them.
They make “videoconference-pals” with students in other countries.
They play “Mystery Skype” with other classrooms and try to guess where they’re located.
Students consistently report that they learn more when mobile devices are incorporated into lessons by their teachers. Some are even leading the charge for more technology in the classroom. After all, they’ve been mobile device “natives” and early adopters of tablet technology, at home and at school.