Research probes uses of mobiles in learning

City & Guilds reveals research into the value of mobile technology for learning

16 May 2013 / Be the first to comment

A study conducted by City & Guilds into the educational benefits of smartphone apps has found that some flashcard, quiz and mobile file-sharing tools can have positive effects on learning.

The study also reveals that the most useful mobile technologies might not be the ones typically labelled as ‘educational apps.' The file-sharing programme Dropbox, for example, can have significant benefits because of the way it enables the mobile sharing of information.

In addition, smartphones can have educational benefits due to the access to information they provide through email, web, messaging and course content. Meanwhile, games have qualities that are particularly attractive to educators. Players are likely to dedicate time to developing problem-solving skills, and they tend to value the importance of persistence, practice and creativity. In particular, gamers embrace repeated failure as a requirement to reaching success, suggesting that educational apps of the same vein may be effective in the learning and revision process.

‘At City & Guilds, we’re dedicated to becoming more digital to enable a greater participation in the delivery of learning,’ says James Wise, Technology Analyst on the Mobile Development Team at City & Guilds. ‘Mobile apps are a natural extension of the way teaching and learning styles are evolving. Learners are increasingly accessing information on the go and in smaller and smaller components.’

There is still little evidence to support the idea that apps have a significantly positive effect on learning on the whole. However, the study proves that some educational apps can increase learners’ active participation during classes or lectures, by engaging learners in knowledge-rich conversations and allowing instructors to regularly check the level of understanding among students who are not vocal in the classroom.

City & Guilds' mobile phone apps - Quiz City, A-Z Cards and SmartCards - are available to download now.

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