The interconnection between technology and education is one that has grown markedly over the last decade. While there has always been a place in the classroom for some form of rudimentary technology, be it a projector screen or a PC, the advent of mobile technology has made it possible for people to learn on the go.
In fact, according to a recent article by ExamTime.com, mobile learning is the “future”. Thanks to 85% of 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK owning a Smartphone (a demographic the article refers to as “generation Z”), educators now have access to millions of minds within the UK and many millions more across the globe.
Using Technology to Educate
One organisation that picked up on this movement towards mobile education is the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA). Offering education into the dangers of sexual violence and harassment, the organisation has created an app designed to test users’ knowledge of these issues.
Using a variety of social trivia games, the app is aimed at educating college campus students about sexual violence, harassment, intimate partner violence and stalking; issues which have become mainstream news in the US after Vice President Joe Biden branded it a “crime” in a recent speech at the University of Pittsburgh.
Taking from One Medium to Enhance Another
Of course, apps designed to educate aren’t purely focused on social, moral and potentially criminal issues. A quick look through the app store reveals hundreds of apps designed to illuminate minds of all ages. One medium that’s often used to improve math skills in the numerically challenged is bingo. The game of brightly coloured balls and numbers has become a major player in the online gaming world over the last few years thanks to platforms such as 32Red Bingo.
Taking the traditional game (which was on the slide across Europe) and digitising it, online bingo is an industry that now attracts more than three million players in the UK alone. Thanks to affordable betting limits, quirky themes and bumper jackpots, bingo games on 32Red.com allow players of all persuasions to join the action whenever they want.
In fact, as you scroll through 32Red Bingo’s range of bingo products you’ll find various rooms, such as the Harmony Lounge and Sapphire Room, which can all be accessed via your mobile. This increased interest in online bingo has prompted developers such as Fluency Games to create the Percent Bingo app.
The aim of the game is simple: players are given a standard looking bingo card, but instead of being filled with numbers it is made up of fractions or decimals. After the game starts the player’s job is to work out the answer to each decimal and mark them off until their card is filled (bingo).
Moreover, thanks to the game’s adaptive technology, it means the software can automatically detect when a player is improving and increase the level of difficulty accordingly.
Gain a Degree Online
Another testament to the influence of technology on education in recent years is the advent of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Essentially a way to gain a university standard education online, these courses were recently reviewed by CNBC in the US and the overwhelming response was positive.
Whether you are looking to learn about data science or business, there are now dozens of online courses out there from some of the leading universities in the world, including MIT, Yale and Harvard. In fact, to test the benefit of these courses, Coursera surveyed 52,000 students and found that 1/3 of those advanced their career as a result of completing an MOOC.
Of course, online courses aren’t going to instantly take over traditional university courses; however, it’s clear that there is a movement towards this way of learning thanks to its accessibility and efficiency.
This ability to learn online or on mobile with the help of technology is extremely encouraging. While technophobes often like to decry the influence of modern technology on our society, the improvements it has made to the way we can learn cannot be denied.
Whether it’s something as simple as the popularity of online bingo being used to improve people’s math skills or as complex as a Harvard University course, modern technology is opening minds and the doors of opportunity for millions of people and it looks to be a trend that isn’t going to fade any time soon.