What is the impact of mobile technology on education?

This post originally appeared on the Brown Center Chalkboard blog.

Despite the emergence of digital learning models, most countries around the world still design their education systems for agrarian and industrial eras rather than modern society, writes Darrell West in a new article. In “Connected Learning: How Mobile Technology Can Improve Education,” West highlights how the lack of access to education technology hurts young people entering the workforce as well as teachers and parents. who want children to be competitive in the global economy. As the economy evolves and technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning improve, countries will need to update their curricula to train students with new skills for the 21st century. .

West focuses specifically on mobile technology and focuses on how devices with cellular connectivity enhance learning and engage students and teachers. It highlights the variety of educational benefits of mobile technologies for learning, including personalizing education, real-time assessment, increasing innovative practices, and empowering women and the disadvantaged.

Personalized education

The paper explains how one of the applications of mobile devices to education is their ability to personalize content for each student. This feature can work well, especially since teachers in many countries deal with classes of diverse students with varying backgrounds and interests who learn in unique ways. Technology is an integral part of young people’s lives and mobile learning has the ability to transcend the confines of the classroom. Students can pursue their passions in education and seek answers to their fundamental questions.

The massive amount of information available at your fingertips has the ability to enable in-depth exploration of interests and the use of a variety of textual, visual and auditory learning experiences. As West mentions, studies show that students are quite open to using technology to learn and are aware of new learning tools such as online courses, virtual reality and online video games. educational purposes.

Real-time evaluation

West describes the benefits of integrating assessment into learning tools. These tools can free educators from the mundane task of memorizing items and provide immediate feedback to students. Mobile devices provide detailed metrics and data that can lead to instant assessment and feedback on whether or not students are meeting instructional goals.

The efficiency of technology can ensure that students who fall behind have the chance to learn important concepts and that students who are ahead don’t get bored with the material they’ve already mastered. Using software, teachers can create dashboards to track each student’s performance on their learning curve to categorize students and assess action items. West argues that under the status quo in education, neither advanced students nor those who need extra help have their needs met in traditional classrooms.

Innovative practices

Beyond improving classroom efficiency, the paper explains how digital technologies are increasing the variety of classroom models. This flexibility results in more focused learning systems where students have more power in their education and teachers can emphasize advanced problem-solving and critical thinking skills, creating a more satisfying educational environment. for everyone involved.

As an example of innovation in the classroom, the article highlights a study of Turkish classrooms1 who experimented with blogging and found improvements in student success. For example, comparing undergraduate students before and after a computer science course demonstrated that those who collaborated via blogs and social media scored higher than those who did not. This led the researchers to conclude, “Blogs can be used as additional mediums to promote achievement and knowledge acquisition.” Mobile and the use of social networks also offer new platforms to reach the millions of children and adolescents who are currently out of school.

Empowerment of women and disadvantaged people

West also describes ways in which women and the disadvantaged are empowered through access to technology in education. Digital tools are helping to increase connectivity and access to information, as well as access to financial and business opportunities. It also suggests that online courses available for free, such as Coursera’s “Massive Open Online Courses” (MOOCs), help reduce educational disparities. Although one can usually register for these MOOCs for free, obtaining a verified certificate usually incurs a fee. West again turns to an example from Turkey. He writes about an innovative program called “Snowdrops” developed by Turkcell and the Association in Support of Contemporary Living that has given thousands of women new opportunities, some of which are offered through e-learning MOOCs.

West also discusses the impact of the Internet of Things and its growing influence on contemporary life. Improvements in technology, coupled with investment in education, he explains, will have a major impact on economic growth in the future.


West explains that there is already a wide range of digital content available for students and teachers. This includes educational games, augmented reality, interactive websites and personalized instruction. The virtue of this electronic information is the greater control students have over their curriculum, allowing them to progress at their own pace and in their own style.

The digital revolution makes it possible to assess student performance in real time. Finally, mobile technology can transform learning and serve as a catalyst to create impactful changes in the current system. West concludes by saying that connected learning through the use of technology is crucial for developing students in the areas of critical thinking and collaborative learning. These are the skills young people need to secure their place in the globally competitive economy.

Read the full article, “Mobile Learning: How Mobile Technology Can Improve Education,” by Darrell M. West to learn more about the educational benefits of increasing mobile technology.

Kay Link contributed to this post.

1Erkan Tekinarsian, “Reflections on the Effects of Blogs on Student Achievement and Knowledge Acquisition on Instructional Technology Issues,” International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, November 2010, Volume 7, Number 9, p. 33.

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