Written by Megan Veschio, a Clonlara School guest blogger
Mobile learning has become incredibly popular over the last few years, with the tablet leading the way. Incredibly portable and easy to use, tablets are able to personalize learning and extend learning beyond classroom walls. At a fraction of the cost of a traditional laptop, tablets offer a wide variety of benefits.
When lessons are delivered via mobile devices, especially tablets, students are able to progress at the pace that best suits them. Students who quickly grasp a concept are able to move on to the next lesson, while students who require extra time are able to review the lesson as needed and take their time without slowing others down.
Mobile devices also allow for additional information to be included for those students who would like to learn more about a particular subject. Links to resources can easily be imbedded into lessons as a starting point for deeper learning. With an internet connection, there is no limit to how much an interested student can learn about a topic.
Additionally, tablets are a great way to appeal to multiple types of learners. Those who learn by reading are able to choose a text version of the information, those who prefer visual stimulus are able to watch videos and those who need to hear something in order to understand are able to listen to audio clips and recordings. Each student is able to choose the delivery method that works best for him/her.
Traditional textbooks provide a variety of drawbacks. They are heavy, outdated as soon as they are printed and limited to what can be included on a printed page. However, when using mobile devices, another option emerges – the etextbook.
eTextbooks are able to provide much more than a traditional textbook. Because they are not limited to what can be printed, etextbooks can incorporate videos, audio, external links and mini quizzes directly into their pages. Additionally, students are able to take notes and highlight information directly within the book without damaging it for the next user. If a difficult word is encountered, students can tap the word for a definition. Students no longer need to switch between resources in order to achieve all this.
Instead of having to carry around multiple heavy textbooks, etextbooks can all be stored on a single lightweight tablet. With all of their books in one place, students are less likely to forge the one they need.
Tablets are much easier to handle while in a car than books and paper notes, making them a valuable study tool during the commute to and from school each day. Everything a student needs is in one place. With tablets, students no longer have to search for a lost piece of paper or wait to complete work until they have access to a computer. Instead, they are able to complete their work wherever they are, be it studying for an exam, writing a paper for class or reading their textbook.
Perhaps the largest benefit of a tablet is the touch screen. Even the youngest students are able to quickly learn how to navigate a touch screen device. And for those who have trouble with fine motor skills such as holding a pencil or using a keyboard, touch screens provide an easy way to express themselves.
Some educators have even found that students who have trouble putting their ideas on paper had an easier time with a mobile device. With pen and paper, whenever something is not right or a student changes their mind, time must be spent erasing. This small break in the flow of ideas can often lead to lost ideas and frustration. However, with a touch screen, changing what has previously been typed or drawn does not take as much effort, nor does it seem like such a big task. This small change allows students to try out ideas they might have avoided otherwise.
From their ability to personalize learning, to their ability to lighten a student’s backpack mobile devices are revolutionizing education. With the world at his or her fingertips, what will your student discover through using a mobile device for learning?
Megan Veschio enjoys writing about using technology in education and how it can transform the way students learn. Learn more about using technology in education at http://www.mediacastblog.com.