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Mobile learning’s major impact

More and more schools turn to mobile technologies as preferred learning tools

mobile-trendsAs mobile learning cements its place in U.S. education, its impact continues to expand throughout school districts across the nation.

Last year, Apple’s education sales broke $1 billion for the first time ever, and iPads continue to hold the market share among education tablets.

Mobile learning leverages the power of the internet to expand students’ learning opportunities. In fact, 92 percent of teachers said they have greater access to educational content, resources, and material due to the internet.

(Next page: Mobile learning on the rise)

Countries across the world are investing in expanded broadband coverage to help students’ learning and competitiveness. South Korea trains teachers in digital learning and has broadband connectivity in all of its schools. Additionally, South Korea plans to phase out printed textbooks in the next two years.

Turkey has plans to distribute 10 million tablets to students by 2015, and Thailand’s government has similar aims, with plans to supply 13 million mobile devices to students by 2015.

Annual surveys and data reveal that mobile learning has staying power and is increasingly popular.

School and district administrators say that mobile technology, including tablets (41 percent), one-to-one programs (28 percent), mobile apps (22 percent), and BYOD (22 percent) have had a significant impact on teaching and learning, according to Project Tomorrow’s latest annual Speak Up survey.

On top of that, 86 percent of school and district administrators said mobile learning increases student engagement. They indicated that it also helps each student personalize learning (67 percent).

In 2010, only 22 percent of school principals said they were likely to let students use their own mobile devices in school. However, the 2013 survey revealed that 41 percent of principals said they were comfortable supporting such a policy.

Thirty-two percent of technology administrators said that letting students use their own mobile devices would help ease budget strains while also giving students access to technology.

A report released earlier this year confirms the trend, which seems now to be less of a trend and more of a permanent feature in schools.

A report written by Grunwald and Associates, commissioned by AT&T, notes that the majority (77 percent) of families have at least one smartphone at home, and 46 percent have at least one tablet.

Seventy-seven percent of teachers cited in recent statistics said that mobile devices boost student motivation, 76 percent said they meet the needs of diverse learning styles, and 76 percent said mobile devices can enhance lessons because they make content more engaging.

By 2020, the mobile learning market could reach $32 billion.

Eighty percent of students in grades 9-12, 65 percent of those in grades 6-8, 45 percent of grades 3-5 students, and 18 percent of K-2 students have access to a smartphone.

When it comes to tablets, 45 percent of 9-12, 52 percent of 6-8, 48 percent of 3-5, and 26 percent of K-2 students have access.

Sixty-three percent of children from high-income homes have access to a tablet, compared to 20 percent of those from low-income homes. Seventy-five percent of high-income parents and 35 percent of low-income parents have downloaded educational apps for their children.

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Laura Ascione

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