Mobile phones: a resource or distraction in education Mobile phones are one of the greatest inventions of mankind. Through his invention he has created his own world at his fingertips. He has removed the hindrance of distance between him and the world. But the important question which needs to be answered now is what should be the role of mobile devices in the learning process? It has been a key factor contributing to bad grades, also several health related disorders among students, but on the other hand, mobile devices can help students with quick research and provide a vital communication link to their, classmates, and even teachers.
Students who do subjects which require field work research will need cell phones while in the field. All modern cell phones can be used to take pictures in the field, create reports using simple word processing applications, save and submit data back to their schools. If their school has a remote storage facility, students can easily back up their field work notes, videos and picture on that server while in the field. Most mobile phone service providers offer cheap internet subscription packages, so students will find it easy to transfer data or make more extensive research online using their cell phone.
Both parents and teachers will need to stay in touch with their children and students, so cell phones will make this communication simple. Also students use cell phones to join peer to peer discussions which can help them ask any thing educational during this discussion. This discussion can be hosted on online educational social networks like Piazza. com, this network has mobile phones apps which a student can install and join any academic discussion using their mobile phones. It is very important for students to be in position to learn from anywhere at any time.
This continuous distraction will affect a student’s concentration in the classroom, and it can also distract other students around them. When it comes to exam time, they will resort to cheating. So they can decide to scan their notes on their cell phones or use text messaging service to cheat exams. Then some students can Google exam questions and copy whatever they find online, and in most cases this data published online is not correct which results into exam failure.
This trend will only increase, and it’s up to parents and teachers to balance the pros and cons of using cell phones as part of the learning process. While there is no single solution, perhaps there are lessons to be learned from the early internet era. The internet was at first seen as a new frontier with dangers lurking behind each click, whereas today schools and parents have universally embraced the web as a medium for research, education and efficient communication. With appropriate safeguards and reasonable policies, perhaps cell phones and web-enabled smart phones can run a similar course.