Saturday, September 22, 2012

Will Mobile Education Replace The Classroom?

Android is not a substitute for school, yet. It is unfortunate that digital technology is incorporated least in the area it is needed most: education. However, no one had foreseen the computer would replace conventional form of learning either.
Considered more a luxurious distraction, parents raise concern about their little toddlers going to school holding a Smartphone. Alternatively, a survey revealed that a quarter of the parents plan to gift their own devices to their children, and installing educational apps into them. The medium of instruction should not be the cause to restrict learning, but rather encourage it, and android smartphones are doing exactly that. Those who let their children experiment would not deny the increased interest in learning, for instance, through a math game or a social studies quiz on the mobile OS that enhance skill and memory.
Teachers, like parents, find the open based application a challenge. Referring to the Android tablet Kindle Fire, one reviewer aptly put it this way: "Although I'm hesitant to predict that the Kindle Fire will radically change education, I do think that the popularity of this device will lead to more development of educational Android apps that are optimized for tablets."
The Android has invaded the education arena in the smartest possible way, with Android television introduced in hospitals for providing entertainment as well as education to patient. Within a span of four years, Android educational apps, either free or paid, have managed to cover a broad range of subjects from the elementary level to adult education, as well as for professional skills improvement.
Amazon Appstore and Android Market app is developed exclusively for the android platform by Google has over 400,000 active apps and more than half are free. Shapes Five Pumpkins app are flashcards designed for infants, with the option to customize it with one's own voice. Tracing ABC is a free app that teaches toddlers to write by tracing alphabets or numbers using the cursor. iStoryBooks are interactive books that can either be read aloud or heard. Besides this, there are foreign language dictionaries for the older lot, art and craft activities such as Doodledroid, educational games and quizzes, skill based tutorials such as Photoshop, science research through arXiv mobile, Google Sky Map, the ASL sign language for the hearing impaired, to name a few. Encouraging teenagers to read the newspaper is no longer a challenge. Installing the Pulse news app saves stories for reading later offline or sharing it with others. The Fortune magazine has called as "the king of apps."
A director of information technology expressed that the teaching staff need to be trained in order to keep up with technology trends and to optimize their use and thereby prevent the overuse and harmful effects such 'openness' can cause to the education system. He suggested that the staff should hold more restrictions for the younger students and for the teachers to look toward finding administrative support and collaborate with parents to properly utilize and handle access via information technology.
The apps continue to reap from the harvest. In a matter of time, classes will become condensed apps. For now, faith exists in the physical presence of teachers.

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