Using mobile phone for studying and practicing: boon or bane?
With nearly all aspects of life being deeply interwoven with technology and daily activities carried out on mobile phones, it comes as no surprise that the education sector has adapted to this changing and dynamic setup. With the COVID pandemic in 2020, classes shifted online, and so did teaching material. Thus, the advent of edtech became inevitable and led to the growth of startups such as Questt.
Since accessibility to laptops is still limited in some parts of the country, there is a growth in usage of mobile phones among students for academic purposes. Noting this paradigm shift, companies adapted to make mobile applications for their edtech services and developed student-friendly features for them to use. However, with this new wave of digitization comes new concerns and benefits.
Parents and teachers alike are worried about the detrimental effects of exposing students to this extent in edtech, and specifically, on mobile phones. Some of their concerns are:
#1: Misuse of online platforms: Platforms where online classes take place such as Google meet, Cisco Webex and Zoom are misused by students and they do not pay attention in classes and simply turn on the camera without listening.
#2: Poor quality and efficacy of education imparted: Educators are raising questions on the quality of education imparted by edtech platforms, saying it is not comparable to offline education. It remains their major concern that students are losing out on a more wholesome learning experience with online material, as online material is considered by many to be easier than the actual paper.
#3: Adverse health effects: A valid concern in using mobile phones are the detrimental health effects. Mobile phones emit bright blue light which harms the eyes on prolonged exposure. Also, neck and back aches are common on extended phone usage, not to mention the lack of exercise and lethargy as a result.
While these are valid concerns, usage of a proper and user friendly edtech app that doesn’t inhibit you in the long run may mitigate these problems. Here are some benefits of using a mobile phone for studying:
#1: Better understanding of concepts: One of the main issues that teachers face is that different students learn at different speeds and it might be difficult to measure this individually for each student, so edtech apps that offer this personalized learning solve this issue. Since the impact of mobile device usage is restricted to the use of individual devices by each student, learning happens at each student’s own pace.
#2: Level playing field for all: Equality in learning is created as the students who use mobile devices experience the same learning as other students. This means that it is creating equal access to learning, thus leading to every student having access to the same materials, and in the long run, equal opportunities for board exams and JEE, NEET and other entrance exams.
#3: encouraging proactive learning: Students can now more actively engage in their coursework and can learn more once individualized attention is paid to them in mobile learning. This leads to greater academic growth as opposed to the blanket approach in traditional classrooms because now students know their individual requirements, and can work according to it.
#4: Hybrid mode of teaching: Students now have the opportunity to take classes in a ‘phygital’ manner, where they can attend classes at school and learn at home, digitally, with their mobile phones. This eliminates the one-size-fits-all philosophy and allows the best of both worlds to give a flexible learning experience to students.
#5: Convenient: There is no doubt that mobile phones have made our lives infinitely more comfortable as nearly all activities from shopping and watching your favorite TV show can be done on the phone. This point of convenience stands true even for students as they can now learn from the comfort of their home or even when they are outside, making it much more convenient for them.
In conclusion, we can say with credence that mobile phones can be used for studying and academic purposes, with reasonable limits on the disadvantages of using mobile phones. Parents can monitor their child’s mobile phone activities to limit the time they spend on it and can also block websites that may serve as a distraction to their child. They can also check out the Questt app for some great educational content, with high quality matching that of a classroom. However, turning a gadget that you thought was a distraction into an efficient mobile learning device does not happen overnight. Patience and practice are necessary, but it is worth it to unlock the ease of access to infinite information and academic resources, as well as engaged learning that smartphones provide.