Children of all ages are now using mobile technology regularly. In fact, Parenting found that more than half of all children ages 8 and younger have access to a mobile device. However, the use of these devices is not limited simply to playing games for entertainment. Mobile technology is increasingly used to encourage interaction and create a more active learning experience.
Often even before a child begins school, she is fully immersed in technology. According to Parenting, 90 percent of parents with children under the age of 2 let them use some form of electronic media. When kids enter school, new-age schools like those in Mooresville, N.C., provide a template for the connected school of the future. Here, every student receives a laptop, and all assignments and textbooks are digital, allowing work to be tracked, analyzed and compared with peers. As a result, the schools’ test scores increased and dropout rate decreased.
Many schools today still have a long way to go to become truly connected. The Verizon Foundation found that one in three middle school students use mobile devices to complete homework, but very few use these devices in the classroom. If U.S. schools implement a full tablet and digital textbook rollout, as opposed to traditional learning tactics and textbooks, it could save the country’s schools nearly $3 billion a year.
Presently, most American schools, elementary through high school, do not offer electronic copies of textbooks. While still an emerging technology, e-books can soon become an interactive tool in the classroom. Students will be able to take notes in the text and interact with classmates to collaborate on the material. E-books can also be updated to always provide students with the most current information, while eliminating the issue of outdated textbooks.
While still in its early stages, mobile technology for learning has the potential to transform education.