You can read a book casually for hours together if it is gripping. But studying for the exams and practising, is a tedious task. Some students might even doze off while studying from the textbooks. After 7 hours at school with a minimum of 6 lectures at a stretch. When kids come back home, they despise touching their books again. Their attention is wholly diverted towards the television, which relaxes them. TV watching is ok; if it is for a short duration, say half an hour to 45 minutes. But if it exceeds the norm, then parents have to start worrying. So, how to wean them of the idiot box and at the same time make the learn something that would help them understand the concepts learned at school, without them having to touch the notes and books. The answer could be, to introduce them to educational apps, which are the new fad for learning. There are many educational or learning apps in the market such as BYJUs, Duolingo, Khan Academy, Amazon Kindle, etc. Now in this article, we will discuss whether these apps help. If they could be successfully utilized as a supplement to the regular classroom learning. Apps are a great source for learning in an informal, out-of-school setting. However, developers and parents need to know how children learn best. Let us first list down the various advantages of learning apps.
Interactive – Unlike a classroom lecture, which is monotonous and unidirectional, the educational apps are both fun and interactive. Since it involves a lot of involvement, it tends to be less annoying and holds kids for a longer duration of time.
Entertaining – Why do children watch television? Because it combines the right proportion of audio and video and presents a beautiful pallet in front of the kids. This is precisely what an educational app does. Some concepts are better understood when it is shown in an animated form. Thus these apps are both entertaining and informational.
Any time access – Most of the apps do not need internet all the time, they are one-time download and play any time apps. Thus learning is possible whenever the kid is ready for it.
Easy to operate – Most of the educational apps are Kid friendly and very easy to use. They do not involve complicated controls or passwords.
Systematic Learning Activated – There are two types of learning Smart learning and systematic learning. Apps enable both the kinds of education. Mobile apps help in systematic learning. Apps are organized in such a way that, it not only promotes an appetite for learning but also for systematic learning. The apps are arranged in such a way that students progress with the flow, without even realizing the same.
Handy – Everyone from young to old carries mobile phones. So such apps offer a portable learning experience. While a conventional setup learning happens only in classrooms.
Converts Leisure hours into Learning hours – By introducing the kids to the educational apps, their leisure time which otherwise would have been spent in front of the television or internet, are converted into learning hours.
Teachers and Parents gain too -Teachers and parents also avail the benefits of learning apps. There are apps with teaching materials that help teachers to plan for their next day class lecture. App-based learning gives more time to teachers and parents to discuss lesson plan for better interactive classes. While selecting apps, parents and teachers can contribute a lot.
Being Updated – There are apps, which help parents to remain updated on their wards activities such as campus events, timetables, alerts and other relevant information (Example: Teno App), some apps also allow you to pay tuition fee, late fee, library dues, etc. So, nothing escapes from your eyes. These apps also allow you to interact with other parents in your kids class.
Staying connected – Educational apps are the best way for children to stay connected with their teachers. Though the idea of learning through apps is entirely different from the traditional learning method, it adds value to the entire process.
Tracking the Child’s Progress – There are apps, that help the parent to monitor their ward’s progress in class.
Thus, after going through the list of advantages of educational apps, one may think that it is the best thing under the sun. But any coin has two sides. We need to look at the other side and decide as to what extent these apps may be utilized. The grey effects are:
1. Encourages Lethargy – As everything is available readymade from lectures to notes. Students may become lazy and might lose interest in learning.
2. Can diminish Personal interaction – No technology can replace a real person in front of you. A teacher in front of you not only understands your learning pace but also feels your emotions and situation and changes his/her teaching pace accordingly.
3. Raises Expectations for Teachers – As more and more students use technology for learning. Their teachers are also expected to be abreast with technology to answer their queries. This put more pressure on teachers and discourages personals from taking up the teaching profession.
Conclusion – Integrating technology in education has its advantages and disadvantages, but proper implementation might help keep the drawbacks to a minimum. Better planning is necessary.