Technology has been changing the way students learn for decades. The electronic typewriters that once helped prepare students for the business world were replaced by personal computers and now those computers are being replaced by laptops, tablets and mobile phones. To keep up with the way modern students utilize technology, many schools are incorporating educational apps into their curriculum. Educational apps can have many benefits for students.
Palatability of Difficult Concepts
Apps, such as i-Ready math, can use video, 3D models, animation and other graphical and interactive techniques to breakdown difficult concepts and make them easier for students to digest. Additionally, the entertainment value of the apps helps to encourage students to keep trying, even when they are struggling with a concept.
Teachers often find it easier to motivate students to interact with educational apps than to get them to read a textbook or listen to a lecture. Educational apps can make learning more interesting and fun by incorporating sound, animation and video. Gamifying the process of learning can also be motivating to many students by offering incentives for students to complete the material. Additionally, many apps can be customized to the student’s interests and learning style, which also helps to keep them engaged with the material.
Most people probably have memories of lugging around heavy textbooks from class to class. The incorporation of laptop computers in the classroom helped provide a portable computing option, but most students still had to carry around their textbooks, in addition to a bulky laptop computer. Educational apps may not completely replace textbooks, but they offer an extremely portable way for students to access study materials. Most students now have mobile phones and can load dozens of apps on a device they can slip in their pockets and are probably already carrying around with them anyway. Educational apps can be available to students almost anywhere, which means that learning no longer has to be limited to the library, classroom or study hall.
Traditional books and videos are a one-way medium that doesn’t provide students with the opportunity to interact with the learning material. Educational apps, such as i-Ready math and reading, have been shown to increase interactive behavior in students, not only with the apps themselves but with their parents, teachers and other students. Interactivity in education helps students build social skills and increases investment in the material being learned.
Practice and Review
You’ve probably heard the expression that practice makes perfect, however, what studies have shown is that practice makes permanent. Cramming a lot of information at the last minute might help a student pass a test, but that information is often lost once the test is over. Regular practice and review can help make learning permanent. The portability, entertainment value and rewarding nature of educational apps can encourage students to consistently practice and review the material, as well as provide the student and the teacher with a detailed analysis of the student’s activities and performance.
Increased Comfort With Technology
Part of the responsibility of educators is to prepare students for success after they leave school. Technology is an integral part of modern life, including the modern workplace. Educational apps can help students become familiar with mobile technology they will likely use throughout their working lives. This can be particularly useful for students who do not have access to computers or mobile technology in their homes.
Educational apps provide many benefits to students. With apps available for almost every platform and subject, it is easier than ever before for students, educators and parents to make learning interactive and fun by utilizing educational apps as part of their curriculum.