Best In Class | Breakthrough Funding

Friday, May 26, 2017

Best In Class

It’s official – taking tech into the classroom makes learning more fun

Daunting as it may be for the more, ahem, mature techies among us to acknowledge, we’re now at the point where today’s schoolchildren no longer remember a time before mobile phones, social media and music downloads. 

For the youngsters of 2017, the idea of only being able to communicate with their friends in person, via a note passed in class or on a landline phone must seem quite surreal. Not for them the excruciating embarrassment of trying to conduct a private teenage phone call while standing in the hallway, unwieldy receiver tucked under their chin as parents, siblings and the dog saunter idly by. 

Now, communication is instant, direct and unlimited. Text speak has entered the common parlance and anyone who doesn’t carry a mobile phone is in an absolutely tiny minority (93% of adults owned a mobile in 2016 – Ofcom). Some lament this development and fear that the communication and engagement skills of young people are suffering as a result.

Well, they need fear no longer, according to Northern Ireland’s most in-depth study of mobile devices usage in early learning to date. After monitoring 650 Belfast nursery and primary school children over two years, researchers concluded that not only did tablets help to engage and enthuse the youngsters, they also enhanced the children’s communication skills.

Most strikingly of all, the introduction of digital technology had a positive impact on the children’s literacy and numeracy skills. Although iPads didn’t replace pen and paper, teachers reported that their pupils regarded iPad use as play and were more likely to discuss their projects with staff and classmates.

This is interesting reading for both educators and people working in edtech – children associate digital tech with fun and that appears to improve their learning experience. 

Are you working on an edtech project that could transform the classroom forever? What lessons have you learned in the process? Give our team a call on 0800 772 0800, we’d love to hear your story.

 

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