Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Open Discussion

Mobile Devices in Classroom: Thread or New Opportunities?

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


It might be a little too late to reconsider all the threads mobile devices may bring into the classroom. This issue was extensively discussed in 2015 when the mobile devices began their active expand of youth. Previously, they stopped existing only for communication means and started including more and more possibilities for entertainment. Nowadays, we have fully stuffed machines in our pockets, with a wireless internet connection in any place, powerful batteries and the capacity higher than the first rockets had. The other question arises, what do we use those powerful machines for?

I would suggest we have a look at this issue from a slightly different perspective. We all know about the technology integration in practically every aspect of our life. Education is not the exception. Mobile devices become more and more used as a part of the school, especially after the active implementation of machine learning tools into the process. Those new possibilities free out a lot of time for tutors and enlarge the options to gain new knowledge for students.

What are the benefits of including mobile technologies into studying?

1. Personalization

No need to additionally explain how crucial it is. Personalized learning had been a dream for ages, as long as traditional ‘one size’ studying exists. So, what mobile technologies bring is a global try to move far forward from standardised tests and programmes for everybody and put the personality and the individuality of a student in a first place. This idea has a variety of different implementations, like including personal learning speed into the plan, or the adaptation to the basic knowledge of a student followed by filling in the gaps to complete the subject. Those innovative tools and applications help students omit boring classes explaining materials they already know and skip misunderstandings when classes appear to be more complicated and staffed as expected. Thus each person has the unique possibility to gain a needed amount of knowledge on the subject without pulling everybody else in a class backwards or far forward.

2. Accessibility and handiness

Among all the benefits, this one suits youth the most. Now they can have all the teaching plans, needed materials and tools in one mobile device, which is always by their side. So, whenever one has a sudden half an hour free, it becomes a high possibility to check out the assignments, think of deadlines, read additional materials and so on. Such a convenience is a great motivating tool, isn’t it?

3. Automatization of repetitive tasks

This would be the thing tutors would value more than students. Loads of time each day is spent on repetitive tasks, which give no result for actual studying, except taking time. Why one wouldn’t automate them as much as possible and use the time for something that matters.

What are the possible challenges of implementing mobile devices?

1. Cheating

The neverending problem of the teaching process is how to prevent fraud? Each year students become more and more creative in the methods they use to go through all the tests assignments. Wouldn’t the use of mobile devices allowed in classroom significantly help them out? Nowadays you can find a bunch of information online. Starting from general information on the subject up to correct answers to tests. The essay topics go along with the pre-written essays. Everything tutors give as homework, sooner or later appears online. So, how can cheating be managed in the classroom full of mobile devices?

2. The matter of cost

There is always a certain price school, and colleges have to pay to purchase all needed devices into the classroom. It is a great idea to have the tablets staffed with the pre-installed programmes and no distractions to any outside play, as on own tablets. But those cost a lot. While the policy of ‘bring your own device’ might also result in making some students more privileged than the others or create a strong potential for theft.

3. The privacy

The privacy issue is the thing to consider before starting an active technologies implementation. No secret that tracking cookies are prevalent on personal mobile devices and they are really following what students do and send the info to third parties. Can tutors allow that? Also, should tutors have access to what students do with their mobile devices? That question should be well-discussed. Especially, if the device is going home with the student. Can there be any rules at all?

4. Teachers authority

Despite all the benefits mobile devices bring into studying process, it is true that they might endanger teachers authority in class. Would students rely on the tutor's background and experience or follow the ideas and information they find online? There is a big chance that students will start to undermine the authority of a tutor when mobile devices would be allowed in class.

Bottom Line

Mobile devices implementation can and do bring a positive experience into the studying process. The right way of usage, under a good guidance, can significantly improve the learning speed and quality along with the improvement of comprehension.

Still, there are a lot of challenges tutors might go through in such a situation. Would they be able to control what students do with the devices, what they look for or whether they do understand the information?

Also, there is always a possibility of additional distraction, which can’t be easily prevented, when devices are allowed. That is one of the most significant concerns of modern educators. Still, it is also true, that students won’t be distracted with any sort of games and outside playing if the tutor is impressive enough. Isn’t it a great type of motivation to become better in what you do?

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.