Technology has brought many new methods of learning to life. Mobile and IPad applications are now being used for educational purposes. Because of this there is more access to educational content meaning there is a greater opportunity for audiences to learn more freely. Before this people relied on Textbooks to be taught new materials however, “As the use of technology evolves in education, an extensive range of new smart devices and digital applications is becoming available to academics”, this giving the student a variety of approaches and options when it comes to studying. In addition, a larger majority of people will be able to succeed in their studies as their approach to learning can be supported and made more enjoyable.
Apps have proven to be successful in teaching online applicants. “Students who supplement traditional classroom education with an app-based curriculum achieve 165% of their expected learning gains.” This statistic displays how effective apps can be and shows that they could potentially replace old & stagnant educational methods. The engagement and success rate of audiences accomplishing their educational goals on these apps proves that they are sustainable. Educational apps are efficient as they can precisely monitor a student’s progress and ability. “Students enjoy the majority of the app-based content, even though it usually targets their academic weakness.”As Khan said in his Ted Talk, learning online forces the student to tackle barriers and become a master in all areas of their chosen subject. Online applications will focus on the user’s weaknesses therefore obliging the student to ascertain the material they would usually avoid.
The beauty of an educational app lies within the collaboration it offers to the audience. Because apps can be created by the masses it means the existence of educational material has grown exponentially. The number of sources has dramatically increased; people are no longer restricted to a limited number of tools. Teachers and Hobbyists are free to create and provide Learning apps, using personal methods and techniques suited to their students.
The down side of this arises from the fact that there is a large amount of content which Is not useful or valuable to people. Due to the mass amounts of educational material being created there is going to be low quality content within the pile. It is becoming more challenging to distinguish the better apps, the app store has been flooded with material that educators and users can’t keep up with. “Within three years of its introduction, the number of distinct educational resources available for the iPad has grown to number over 100,000.” It is all good & well using apps for educational purposes but it is important that they are beneficial and crucial in helping you progress and further your capabilities. There has been a drastic amount of IPads sold to schools and because of this educators need to ensure they are feeding students the right materials. If not students can become disengaged and demotivated at a rapid pace.
The blatant truth is that there is no escaping technology and it has engraved its position in our future. Millennials have been brought up with the uses of the internet at hand. They instantly become tech savvy toddlers, who can use a technological device with ease. Learning through I-Pad’s and phones suits young people due to their online capabilities. This factor highlights the importance of apps for learning matters, young people are happy and comfortable using technology and it is undoubtedly the best method for children to learn and stay engaged.
Apps can be used as a successful alternative in teaching students. They use a new approach and different angle of teaching then what you had experienced in class or in your lectures. The existence of educational apps gives the student an opportunity to learn materials they had previously struggled with. For example, I moved from Portugal back to the UK when I was 11 years old (my parents are British and moved out there when I was a baby). Because of this, I spoke a lot less Portuguese meaning in the last 9 years I have forgotten a large amount of the vocab. This has been challenging as I have struggled to find the time or material to help me recoup the language once again. However, I downloaded an app called ‘Duolingo’ which has been extremely useful to me in regaining my abilities to speak Portuguese. It is extremely easy to use and of course it is flexible. As I am someone who uses their mobile phone a lot throughout the day, I have been able to direct my focuses towards this application very easily. It has meant I spend up to 20 minutes a day learning Portuguese. (This is not and advert, I am not being paid!) The irony is that my mobile phone, instead of distracting me has been of immense use to my learning and has undoubtedly supported me. Apps allow me and many other students to work overtime, not within a schedule.
People, young people especially spend a mass amount of time on their mobile phones, their engagement and dopamine levels are high when attached to a device. Duo to this, it is the perfect place for a teaching mechanism to be installed. The ease of access and comfort on an educational app for a student allows the user to absorb important information and spend a large amount of extra curriculum time working. In some ways it is bringing learning to life for many. As a conclusion, the evidence presented suggests that educational apps may have a few weaknesses but as a whole are hugely beneficial to millennials and students in our day and age.
Written by Luc Coulson