How mobile technology in education is shaping the next generation of employees
Gen Z will be our workforce before we know it
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in education. In classrooms around the world, teachers are adapting and integrating devices in the exchange of information with students. Mobile technologies, in particular, significantly influence how and when students learn.
At national scale, Internet connectivity is available in over 90% of classrooms. There is a computer in almost every classroom and students are increasingly connected to technology at home.
Recognizing this clear shift to digital, teachers are engaging students in more meaningful ways by using technology, including mobile devices, as teaching tools. Many students today have never known a world without technology, and they have little patience or aptitude for a learning environment without it.
This trend is not exclusive to the field of education. In just a decade, today’s learners – from K-12 – will enter the workforce as skilled, digitally-minded professionals. The devices preferred by students today will inform the way businesses get to work and communicate tomorrow.
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While this transition may seem distant, companies can determine how future generations will work and learn best by observing the current impact of technology on education. Education systems are shifting from traditional tools to more advanced technologies, and businesses will soon have to do the same.
The rise of differentiated learning
Mobile devices provide teachers with tools to personalize learning from student to student. For example, during a geography lesson, a visual learner can engage with material through an interactive map on a tablet.
Another student, who prefers to read, can study with an online textbook. With smartphones and tablets, all students have the opportunity to learn in the way that best suits them.
Going forward, differentiated learning will impact how students approach learning in the workplace. The presence of mobile devices in classrooms conditions students to expect and respond to individualized learning.
Large corporate meetings or generic PowerPoint presentations will no longer suffice as tools to convey important information. Instead, companies will need to add mobile technologies in areas such as enterprise onboarding and routine trainings.
Employees will retain and use material better when learning is exploratory on personalized channels.
The value of real-time monitoring
In addition to making classrooms more fun, teachers can use a primary tablet or similar mobile devices to monitor how students are doing on a given task. If one student is falling behind while another is ahead, this information notifies the teacher so they can adjust workloads and help all students thrive simultaneously.
As with differentiated learning, today’s students need individualized attention. This is especially true in large classrooms and will be a trend in large companies in the future.
Similar to a teacher, a manager will be able to track employee performance on assigned tasks with mobile devices. After noticing different work paces or processes, the manager would have the option of reassigning tasks, providing additional support, or even flagging top performers for promotion. Real-time monitoring of individual work will help companies solve more inefficiencies and promote business growth.
A need for automation
Classroom technologies eliminate the need for students and teachers to complete tedious tasks by hand. Teachers can use mobile programs to automatically organize class work or assignments, and students can use mobile to facilitate collaboration on group work or research. The accessibility and ease of mobile technology has created a need for automation inside and outside the classroom.
Today’s students will grow up expecting – and more importantly, relying on – support from these devices. Employers need to be strategic in their integration of automation tools and systems.
Processes such as timesheet submission and project tracking can save time and are accessible from anywhere using mobile technologies. The next generation of workers will expect their jobs to be interconnected through a series of mobile apps.
The freedom to work from anywhere
One of the most unique extensions of mobile is the ability to extend learning beyond the classroom. More and more often, students are allowed to take school-owned devices home.
Barriers to learning continue to decline (across a wide range of student demographics) as schools put study, research, and homework within easy reach of students.
The freedom to learn from virtually anywhere is something that will also benefit businesses. Mobile technologies give employees the freedom to create a flexible working environment, which could impact the layout of the traditional office in the future.
Perhaps today’s students will be more inclined to work remotely or move around the office away from desks than previous generations. Companies will need to be open to these structural changes, giving employees control over how, where and when they work, in order to increase productivity and happiness at work.
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Meaningful student engagement increasingly depends on providing an interactive learning environment. The adaptation of mobile devices by teachers in their classrooms brings exciting educational improvements.
For businesses, similar benefits will come with the integration of today’s technologies for the next generation workforce. Technological improvements can drive great results, and mobile isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, it will only continue to grow.
While today’s digital generation may struggle to use a computer mouse, they are very adept with modern technology tools and systems. Just as there’s no reason to teach today’s students on a floppy disk, they won’t need to work with outdated technologies in the days to come.
Mobile development is still in its infancy. However, businesses should start learning about new technologies and adopting them now. Gen Z will be our workforce before we know it.
Source by Erik Burckart, CTO of PointSource