In the age of technology and connectivity, electronic gadgets have graced their way into the learning process of students in the classroom. These gadgets have been used to continually improve and expound methods through which students can learn. The gadgets mostly used by students are tablets, mobile phones and cameras.
Also, the growing demand in terms of requirements from students is assisted by these electronic gadgets. Tasks and collaboration are done easier using technology available for educational purposes.
However, there are debates concerning the advantages and disadvantages of electronic gadgets usage inside the classroom. This blog article focuses on the advantages it can bring students.
So what are the benefits and uses exactly that gadgets contribute to student learning?
1. Improves overall student performance.
According to the study of Behnke, Gilliland, Schneider and Singer in 2005, the usage of gadgets such as tablets in class can contribute to improved student performance, it also can contribute to the decrease in the number of students who perform poorly in class.
Not only that, gadgets also help improve the efficiency of teaching methods and learning capacities of students using tablets in class.
Overall, the usage of electronic gadgets has made activities conducted in classrooms more flexible. The various features and functions of gadgets in class also play a part to efficiently transform teaching and learning methods, because of this, different senses of students are activated through the use of these gadgets.
2. Enables student-centered learning.
Traditionally, learning is dependent on teacher-centered strategies. But with the transformations in the teaching methodologies and the availability of gadgets in the classroom, learning has deviated away from this focus.
According to the study of Nah, Lim, and Yih in 2012, electronic gadgets help facilitate and expound student-centered learning through providing additional functions that enable students’ active role in the classroom. Their independence and ability to control their learning pace using these gadgets have fostered personalized participation.
3. Enhances knowledge-retention.
Retention is one crucial factor in determining whether students are successfully learning in class. Correlatively, the activation of students’ multiple senses while using electronic gadgets in class, may help with their knowledge retention.
For instance, according to the study of Krause, Mogalle, Pohl and Williams in 2015, social gamification can help increase knowledge-retention among students.
4. Enhances presentation and illustration of lectures.
Content is no longer presented through traditional methods such as the usage of boards, hardcopy drawings, and old school black and white projectors, through the usage of gadgets in the classroom, audio-visual and media presentations became not only available but portable for students.
Both students and teachers can also customize the ways through which information can be presented in class using electronic gadgets. These ways usually improve participation inside the classroom.
5. Enhances collaboration.
Due to the personalized and multiple functions of gadgets in class, collaboration consequently increases among students especially in terms of classroom participation and engagement.
As mentioned earlier, the usage of gadgets makes learning flexible. In the same way that collaboration becomes more voluntary as opposed to traditional learning methods due to the features and accessibility of gadgets. This is most apparent in virtual classrooms, online discussions and online activities.
6. Can be used for research purposes.
This is the most widely known use of using gadgets in the classroom. No longer do students have to physically go to libraries and browse hardcopy books for simple research or homework. Information is within their grasp in matters of seconds.
Also, researching online is not only limited to Google or Google Scholar. Schools often also provide access to paid research scholarly digital database such as Ebsco and Jstor. These database platforms are no longer confined within library computers but can also be accessible through tablets and mobile phones of students.
7. Can be used for easier access to materials and easier storage of information.
No longer do students traditionally take notes but they can store books and notes through pdf or e-book copies or through taking pictures of lecture notes. They can also record audios and videos of lectures and discussions for as long as it is permitted by the lecturer or professor. Also, anytime they need materials, these materials can be accessible through the most portable gadgets such as mobile phones.
Also, according to the study of Behnke, Gilliland, Schneider and Singer in 2005, the usage of gadgets such as tablets create increase in the information received by students.
8. Can be used by students to verify information.
Due to the easier access to information, students can practice initiative to verify among themselves the data presented to them. Hence, improving their information fluency and critical thinking.
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According to the study of Mada in 2017, gadgets can help develop learning skills such as assembling, evaluating and utilizing information.
While according to the study of Thomas, O’Bannon and Bolton in 2013, since students can verify information themselves through the internet, this increases communication, collaboration and cooperative problem solving amongst students and even teachers.
9. Can be used for easier communication.
Students and also teachers no longer have to disseminate information through text messages or emails individually, but with electronic gadgets, platforms for portable and easier sharing of necessary school-related information is possible such as Facebook groups, Google classroom and other learning management systems such as Schoology.
Also, collaboration is easier between students and teachers given the instructional features most gadgets have that can be utilized for learning.
10. Can be used for virtual classroom or virtual learning.
A virtual classroom is a platform through which learning is conducted online. Inside the virtual classroom, mechanisms such as video conference, online whiteboard and chat boxes are used by students and teachers.
This is essentially useful for learning flexibility and maximizing the benefits of technology in education. According to the study of McBrien and Jones, virtual classroom is a platform that can increase students’ engagement and participation due to the digital tools and mechanisms that students can use.
There you go! We have gone through all the 10 benefits and uses of allowing electronic gadgets in classrooms. However, these benefits can only be maximized if there is supervision in the usage of these gadgets. For instance, social media applications should be minimized or banned during discussions unless needed and related to ongoing classroom activities. Other educationally unrelated use of these gadgets should also be minimized. Otherwise, the usage of electronic gadgets in classrooms may cause distraction and hence be counterproductive for students.
Ellis-Behnke, R., Gilliland, J., Schneider, G. E., & Singer, D. (2003). Educational benefits of a paperless classroom utilizing tablet PCs. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts-USA.
Krause, M., Mogalle, M., Pohl, H., & Williams, J. J. (2015, March). A playful game changer: Fostering student retention in online education with social gamification. In Proceedings of the Second (2015) ACM conference on Learning@ Scale (pp. 95-102).
Mada, A. (2017). The Perception of Students and Lecturers on the Benefits, Opportunities and Challenges of the Use of ICT Gadgets During Lectures. The Fountain: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 1(1), 108-132.
McBrien, J. L., Cheng, R., & Jones, P. (2009). Virtual spaces: Employing a synchronous online classroom to facilitate student engagement in online learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(3).
Nah, E. A., Lim, T. H., & Yih, B. (2012). Enhancing student-centered learning through usage of television commercials via wiki. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 67, 144-155.
Thomas, K. M., O’Bannon, B. W., & Bolton, N. (2013). Cell phones in the classroom: Teachers’ perspectives of inclusion, benefits, and barriers. Computers in the Schools, 30(4), 295-308.