GMA News Online

Mobile gadgets will spell the end of the classroom as we know it

November 5, 2012 6:17pm
Not too long ago, using a mobile phone in class could get you into trouble. But all that is going to change, if a recent report from tech provider Ericsson is to be believed.
Mobile devices might make the traditional school desk obsolete, according to "Learning and Education in the Networked Society", a new report from the Ericsson Networked Society. Among other things, the report highlights the effect of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in principal areas of schooling involving phsical space and behavior.
The report points out that 85 percent of the global population already has access to mobile communications. By 2020, the number of connnected devices is expected to hit 50 billion —an unprecedented rate of growth.
"It took 100 years to connect 1 billion places and 25 years to connect 5 billion people," the report noted.
Schools understand that network connectivity, content management solutions, communication, and interactivity are critical infrastructure. And some of the more progressive schools are already transforming their classrooms into multifunctional learning spaces.
In such environments, students are encouraged to bring their own mobile devices to class. This is because of the emphasis and premium placed on adaptability and multitasking.
Teachers' roles are changing as well, from "sage on the stage" to "guide by the side".
Moreover, new demands are being placed on the classroom environment: while basic skills such as reading and writing will always be mainstays, new skills will be needed to cope with the barrage of information coming in via ICT.
"ICT is transforming learning and education. It’s literally breaking down the walls of the classroom, and we have to start looking upon learning as something that takes place everywhere, all the time," explained Mikael Eriksson Björling, ConsumerLab Expert on Consumer Behavior.
"Our research shows that students and progressive teachers, empowered by technology, are the catalysts to fundamental change," he concluded. — TJD, GMA News
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