Education has changed drastically over the past decade, due to the introduction of mobile applications in the classroom. While it may seem foreign or unnecessary to parents, this way of learning and communicating is here to stay. Traditionally, accessing technology was limited only to those who could afford to purchase a computer. However, in recent years, the cost of a smartphone has made technology more accessible to the masses, which is why there are now almost 7 billion smartphones in the world. Many kids are adept at scrolling through a phone or tablet long before they can read, and schools are putting these skills to use. Gone are the days of having to wait for a book to be available at the library, or searching through research papers for data—students can access any information easily and quickly from their smartphone or tablet.

The advantages of incorporating mobile apps into the classroom are endless. In a world where we can be in constant communication with our friends and family, why not connect with your child’s school and teacher as well? Schools that have lower engagement from parents, due to their inability to take time off from work, are able to interact with parents on a more consistent basis using mobile apps. When a grade is entered into the system, a student is late for class, or there is a school closing, the school officials are able to push mobile notifications to the parents immediately. Parents can also email teachers with questions, access calendars, and stay abreast of the ongoing activities, without having to rely on their child to relay the information.

Learning via mobile applications makes for a more interesting, interactive experience for students. Kids learn in different ways, and not all can absorb and retain information by reading books. Hands-on tools such as videos and illustrations keep the student engaged. There are games, activities, and flashcards they can utilize, helping them to retain the information later. Learning via mobile apps provides teachers with the opportunity to gain immediate feedback on what a student is or is not understanding, and can intervene quickly.

Mobile apps in education are a cost-saving method as well. Rather than having students purchase expensive hardcover books they won’t finish during the semester, teachers are able to create course packs and incorporate articles and studies from various books, for much less money. The students don’t have to carry heavy backpacks and can find all of their course material in the library on their tablet. They are able to read, make notes, highlight, look up words and submit assignments through the mobile app.

With the high student to teacher ratio, it can be hard for teachers to reach and interact with each student. Using the mobile app, they are able to impart information, notify them of assignments and notes, and answer questions that may arise after school hours. Teachers and school officials are more accessible to students and their parents, and can offer assistance when contacted. This technology also opens students eyes to different career options, and encourages them to expand their horizons. Mobile apps in education are necessary if children are going to learn efficiently and effectively in this technology era.

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