Business Education & Technology

Creating a digital generation: Harnessing mobile technologies in education (Part 1)

Takasununguka Ziki
Written by Takasununguka Ziki

THIS is a follow-up article to the one I shared on “Adopting 21st Century Teaching and Learning Methods in Education.” With the proliferation of the mobile device, new forms of communication have been born. Mobile technologies have revolutionised the way we do things.There has been a radical turn on how we conduct business and communicate amongst ourselves. With this radical shift of things, it clearly portends to the fact that even the way we teach and learn has to take a major facelift too. All thanks go to the coming of the mobile device.

Like was said in the article on “Adopting 21st Century Teaching and Learning,” Mobile devices and indeed all other ICT tools have proven to be domineering pieces of gadgets that are fast invading the teaching and learning space.

It is therefore my intention here, to espouse on the importance of taking steps towards harnessing Mobile Technologies for the classroom and beyond. Mobile Technologies are the multifarious pieces of gadgets that can be carried around by their users and are helping in solving problems in societies where they are used.

They are those devices that are meant to make life easier for society. These devices include mobile phones, smart-phones, Tablets, PDAs (Personal Data Assistants), Laptops and many other devices that can be used on the go. In other words, Mobile Technologies are mobile devices that have unending capabilities brought about by their possession of task-specific pieces of software (Applications). Since these technologies have revolutionized the way in which we do things, it is time we harness the power of Mobile Technologies in aiding the teaching and learning process.

First and foremost, the way we view the Mobile gadgets need to change so that we view these devices with the importance they deserve. Mobile devices are microprocessor-enabled devices that have become so powerful to such an extent that they are capable of multi-tasking (performing numerous tasks at once). Their possession of microprocessors makes them computers. The initial step we need to take now is changing our mind-sets on the way we view these mobile devices.

We should stop viewing Smart-phones, PDAs and Tablets as phones, but we should start treating them as computers. This is because they possess the very features possessed by the “Conventional” computer.

They are electronic just like the computer, are able to input, accept, process, store and output information at a command. These very abilities make mobile devices nothing but computers.

That having been said, it is now our prerogative to harness the numerous capabilities harboured in mobile technologies to aid the Teaching and Learning process.

Mobile technologies have capabilities to connect users to the Internet through their data accessing platforms that include WLAN, WIFI, CDMA, GPRS, Edge and LTE among many others.

Mobile Data and mobile technologies with their Internet connectivity capabilities are fast overtaking all other forms of Teaching Aids and media. This is so because of the countless qualities they carry that include the fact that they are personal, are mobile (can be moved around with), access to internet is always available as long as a user has a working data plan (Airtime or Data Bundle). With these and many other features, it is important that we harness Mobile Technologies for use in our Education systems.

Mobile Technologies and their abilities can be harnessed to aid teaching and learning. In education, Teachers and Learners depend heavily on reading material. In this vein, we have realised that teaching and learning methodologies of old have always depended on paper-format books.

However, with the advent of Mobile Technologies, books have evolved from their paper state, to become electronic and paperless. It is these electronic books (eBooks) that have come as a plus with the coming of Mobile Technologies.

These eBooks are readily available for free or at reasonable cost from official eBook Stores online (on the internet). With this capability, any teacher or learner will surely have access to tons of reading material at reasonable cost. In the end, a learner or teacher can create their personal eBook Libraries in their Smart-phones or Tablets. With such a personal eBook Library at hand, the teacher or learner has unlimited access to books as and when they want to use them.

This is unlike in the case with physical paper-format books where the library has restricted access and limits with regards to borrowing privileges as some books are placed on reserve and have limited borrowing times. As for eBooks, the learner or teacher has their books on them always. If we harness Mobile Technologies, teaching and learning will surely become pleasurable and enticing.

Each teacher or learner who has a Smart-phone or Tablet (even the cheapest model) can have their select eBooks in their gadgets.

This will surely aid proper teaching and learning in a child-friendly and child-centred environment. One other plus with regards to eBooks is their compressed sizes and formats to such an extent that a Smart-phone with a considerable storage capacity can accommodate hundreds of thousands of eBooks.

Mobile Technologies and mobile devices also carry special abilities that include their ability to take photographs and also record audio and video clips.

These abilities can be harnessed for the classroom as teachers can take photos of items of interest in communities they live in or they would have traveled to. These very photos can be used as learning aids, Inserts or case study talking points.

Takasununguka Ziki

Author at Zim Talks TV
There is only one like me in the world therefore hard to pawn it off
Takasununguka Ziki

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