Mobile Apps Are Becoming Integral to the Future of Education

December 8, 2017 - 4 minutes read

If you’ve been keeping up with Dogtown Media News recently, then you know it’s Computer Science Education Week. We’ve gotten to take a look at a plethora of awesome ideas coming to life. Previously, improving education with mobile technology was an endeavor for only¬†San Francisco developers and other tech communities to tackle. Now, utilizing mobile apps to augment education is a labor of love that everyone around the world is contributing to.

In this post, we’ll take a deep-dive into the data to demonstrate the huge impact that mobile technology is already making on education. Sometimes, it’s better to let the numbers do the talking.

Growing up Alongside Technology

Kids these days are already playing with smartphones and tablets by age 2. Researchers at the University of Iowa found that 90% of two-year-olds already had “moderate proficiency” with a tablet in 2015. Meanwhile, 78% of elementary school students report they regularly use a tablet, with the number being 69% for middle school students and 49% of high school students. The numbers for tablets decrease as children get older because they get other devices as they edge closer to college.

A majority (more than 86%) of college students are using two mobile devices a day: smartphones and laptops. Education apps vary in popularity depending on their niche. Kindle, iBooks, and CourseSmart are quickly replacing physical books. Apps like Quizlet and Duolingo are also finding their place in education. Wikipedia and other reference apps are regular tools for reports. And productivity apps like Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive are being utilized just as much in the classroom as they are in the modern office.

Building the Infrastructure of Future Education

Digital signs and alert systems are beginning to integrate with students’ portable devices at colleges and K-12 schools. Keeping up with the technological times has become a priority for educational institutions. If a school or workplace is running on Windows 98 and hasn’t upgraded any technology, it’s automatically assumed to be “behind the times”, entrenched in old beliefs, and undesirable. Most young adults have grown up with Wi-Fi access. They believe it’s a basic, universal right.

For K-12 schools and colleges, the ideal course of action is to plan ahead by 10 or 15 years and aim towards renovating for that future. Upgrading infrastructure to match 2017 is going to look outdated within 5 years. This includes mobile apps for student-only use: for safety, sporting events, course schedules, and more. In this case, thinking ahead is a prerequisite.

The New Age of Learning

The word “apps” used to have a similar connotation to “video games,” i.e. apps are for fun and entertainment. But now, apps are being developed for serious uses like education, and they’re successfully leading a new wave of learning. Education apps are particularly important for children in developing countries who don’t readily have access to updated textbooks. In this way, apps are truly creating a universal learning experience. Plus, they’re available at any time of the day for a curious student to engage in learning.

Education and mobile apps will go from being mutually exclusive industries to informing each others’ innovation. Whereas schools once banned the use of cell phones in class, teachers may start encouraging their students to bring in more mobile devices to create a better learning experience.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will combine with mobile app development to create more intimate interfaces for students in all grades. And as technology and time continue advancing, we can’t wait to see what some mobile app developers come up with.

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