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Mobile technologies offer teachers and students a more flexible approach to teaching and learning, but do the benefits of mobile tech outweigh the drawbacks?

Benjamin Vedrenne- Cloquet, Co- Founder and CEO EdTech Europe

Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet: In the school environment, smartphones and tablets offer many benefits. Firstly, and not insignificantly, these devices are much cheaper than desktop computers and laptops which, for a sector constantly under pressure to cut costs, is very appealing and allows the organisation to provide students access to online and digital learning programmes, all the while developing their tech skills and aptitude. Secondly, the level of engagement with smartphones

Harry Jawanda, CEO and Co-Founder of WAMBIZ

is so high amongst children that it seems like a missed opportunity not to use these devices to deliver education; they have the potential to totally transform the learning experience. The integration of devices allows for a continuum of touch points to support learning outside of the school environment. Apps, programmes and mobile optimised sites can provide access to teacher approved materials, study guides, quizzes, mock tests and so on – all enabling focused, personalised learning, in and out of the home to improve performance. It’s important to remember that incorporating the use of devices into education is not about substitution, but amplification – they provide access, can record and track performance, solidify knowledge, identify knowledge gaps and provide relevant content. Taking this all into account the pros certainly outweigh the cons.

Dave Saltmarsh, Educational Evangelist Jamf Software

Harry Jawanda: Mobile devices and digital tools need to be embraced by both teachers and students but it is all about geting the balance right and seeing how mobile can work side by side with the school as it rolls out its curriculum and learning approach. This school generation lives and breathes social media and run their lives through their mobile devices, it’s something we cannot get away from so the goal must be to see how we can put the best content and information into the hands of those school children in a way that they can use and help further their learning and engagement.

Justin Smith, Founder of Educational

Dave Saltmarsh: To answer this fully you would need to identify the perceived drawbacks. Certainly there are challenges and many of them deal with the need for changes to instructional practices. An alternative would be to remain with the current practices. The concept of anytime, anywhere learning isn’t new. Add to those 'any pace', and you have personalised learning. Meeting students’ needs and motivations does not need validating. What is needed is to see up the conditions for gradual progress and success in the classroom.

Justin Smith: Holistically speaking there are many benefits revolving around the integration of mobile learning through its support of engaging students in continuous learning. Research indicates how continuous learning improves retention of information within students when compared to the

traditional learning approach. This result enables students to work independently outside of the classroom within the ease of using their mobile devices; younger students are also able to get their parents involved. Having the facilities they use at school with them at home will consequently lead to higher levels of atainment.

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