The advent of telecom industry in the late 19th century and smart phone technology in the early 20th century has changed the face of many practices in our day to day lives. And education is not an exception. Earlier when internet was available only on desktops and laptops it made information was limited to people who owned them. In the last decade the smart phones have taken over the information dissemination in the world.
The internet on the cell phones has got the entire world in our palms and has revolutionised every aspect of our lives. From financial payments, communication, shopping, education every possible transaction is just a click away. The most revolutionised field of the entire lot is the education field. Many applications have been designed and developed which provide video tutorials, study materials, downloadable documents etc.
Ways in which Cell Phones changed Education System
- Self-paced learning: The traditional education format caters to students with a one size fits all kind of an approach undermining the different earning speed of each student. This flaw is mostly rectified in cell phone education where the students learn at their comfortable pace.
- Personalised learning mechanisms: Teachers and school administration can customise learning mechanisms in the mobile phone depending upon the requirement and standard of the student.
- Virtual School Bag: Most of the traditional schools expect the kids to carry their textbooks ad notebooks everyday to school. The heavy bag they carry everyday is considered dangerous for their growth physically in the long run. Education through mobile phones compete eliminates this problem as the students would be carrying just their tablet.
- Distant Learning: The major advantage of online or cell phone education is that people from remote areas can take up courses and education from the comfort of their homes. Many educational institutions have opened their digital platform as well which allow their students to participate ad not miss out on ongoing classes even if they remain absent from physical classrooms.
- Diversified education: The online and digital educational platforms have better range of courses and educational opportunities that are not available from traditional classrooms. Most of the teachers and instructors who cannot travel to different cities have taken advantage of this concept of cell phone education wherein the instructor can take up classes for more number of students from the comfort of their houses.
Role of Cell Phones in Education during COVID-19
The pandemic has changed the lives of millions of people across the world. The scientific advancement that generally happens over a span of two years has been made within 4 months. This phenomenon of technological and scientific advancement has happened in the field of education as well. The need for staying at home and avoiding large gatherings and groups has brought us all in a state of apprehension.
Schools and educational institutions have taken up this practice of online learning and are conducting online classes for students regularly. The teachers have been recording classes and also going live on these applications with their students. This concept of classroom education which started taking shape in last five years has turned out to be boon for the students.
These being the only option available in uncertain times like these educational institutions and teachers have been convincing students and parents about the importance of cell phone education.
The educational institutions have no other way of conducting classes in these times. The cell phone education and learning that has been lurking around for a while has been taken seriously by the institutions and governments alike. Many thinkers and psychologists have expressed their concerns over prolonged usage of mobile phones as medium and tool for education and learning. Some of the concerns raised are:
- Internet and a mobile phone is still a luxury for many families in India.
- It can also be a potential distraction in this process of learning. Especially kids who are always distracted are more prone to this given the number of other things that happen in the background.
- Students when not under parental guidance can misuse the availability of internet and phone at their disposal. Many parents who are not well versed with mobile phones and internet are not in a position to control and monitor their child.
- There weaker engagement and connection between the child and the teacher. Since there is no physical presence of teacher the discipline of the child is not guaranteed.
Despite having these draw backs online and mobile education cannot be ignored. It is a potential tool to disseminate information and also increase the scope of learning to a larger extent. It is more relevant during these times of pandemic.
In this entire process of mobile education and learning the parents of the student have a huge role to play. They should be monitoring and making sure the child attends classes every day. The doubt of internet being misused cannot be made a reason for a blanket ban on a resource like it. Students should be forced to act responsibly.
If anything this advent of technology into the field of education and earning made us realise that technology and internet are no longer luxuries but basic necessity. It is a great tool to bring the world of information at the palm of the individuals across the world.