Image | USA Army RDECOM
During the 2013-2014 school year, researchers from the Teaching, Innovation and Multimedia Department of the University of Barcelona (UB) carried out a study about the use of tablets by primary and secondary students. About 300 teachers used the technology over the course of the year, and in more than 90% of cases they confirmed that they it lead to important improvements in the learning process: it promoted autonomy, creativity and motivation. The same can be said for other devices used in the classroom.
However, there’s been some debate as to whether IT really offers pedagogical improvement since IT’s entrance into education. In 2009, the government program Escuela 2.0 launched an initiative to give out more than 1.5 million laptops to students, and 80,000 computers to teachers, while also offering projectors and internet access.
While elementary and high schools now have all this equipment, educators mentioned certain inconveniences in the study from UB. The majority said they didn’t have time to search resources or receive training to learn how to best use the devices. Technology doesn’t give classes by itself – it’s imperative to know how to adapt it to different methodologies and curriculums.
However, while new challenges continuously arise, great progress has also been made. IT presents opportunities that textbooks and other traditional resources don’t. Study plans using technology can be personalized in ways that benefit students with learning difficulties, adapted to the classroom needs, and can make previously static lessons more dynamic.
Even for the less technologically-inclined, there are simpler options, such as developing an interactive PowerPoint presentation or letting students find information on the web. To make things even easier, more and more people are paving the way by sharing their own digital resources on platforms such as CeDec.
Image | Marco Antonio Torres
Other alternatives are creating blogs or websites about subjects related to the coursework or preparing complementary activities, such as digital museum visits. There are also platforms where teachers can assess their students and manage correspondence with parents.
The teachers not only have to learn to use the resources in their lessons, but should instill in students a greater awareness of technology and its responsible usage. New types of addiction and the dangers of the Internet for children are also challenges that teachers must confront.
The adaptation process continues years after the integration of IT in the classroom. Innovations in the area of ‘EdTech’ show no signs of stopping. There are clearly many advantages to technology in education, but teachers have to keep learning how to best use the technology to benefit their students.
The mSchools programme is a multi-faceted mEducation initiative by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, in collaboration with The Generalitat of Catalonia, Barcelona City Hall and GSMA.
Launched in 2013, mSchools supports students and teachers effectively integrating mobile technologies into the classroom. Mobile enables access to up-to-date materials, improves collaboration and strengthens learner engagement, opening up new ways of teaching and learning that improve achievement and employability.
The mSchools programme brings together private and public institutions to help students build important new skills and prepare them for today’s digital world.
Mobile World Capital presents a global vision that effectively integrates mobile technologies into the fabric of the industries transforming our lives. Committed to expanding the mobile experience throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain with strong support of the public and private sector.
Mobile World Capital is leading mobile transformation through commitments in Competence Centres, local Industry Development, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation programmes.
MWCapital offers an open platform and exhibition showroom where citizens can understand and experience how mobile is enhancing our lives: The Mobile World Centre, located in the heart of Barcelona on Plaza Catalunya.