Some private schools in the Philippines are already using tablets for schoolwork. This is good news; but unfortunately, most of these tablets are only used for reading e-books (and most probably used by students for gaming). There are yet many things that can be done in order to maximize the school and the parents’ investment on a tablet/phablet. This is why I’d like to introduce (drum roll please…) mLearning.
Looking at the Philippine context, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to the slow emergence of eLearning/mLearning in the country (ex. availability and high cost of internet, accessibility to computers, and cost of owning a computer/tablet). However, the future looks really bright as advances in technology and telecommunications (such as cost-effective tablets and faster, better, and lower-priced internet service from telcos) are now paving the way to make mLearning as an accepted and more accessible medium of instruction.
Going back, here are some benefits that mLearning can bring to schools in the Philippines (or any classroom – in general).
1. The ‘Flipped Classroom’
The notion of the ‘Flipped Classroom’ is that resources, such as reading materials, videos, even lectures, can be studied outside the classroom. If you have a system in place, educators can just post pictures, put website links, post videos or podcasts that the students can go over with their tablets. Come class, the entire time will be dedicated to discussing the material. Do you remember going through reading assignments in your own leisurely time? Same applies here – but with more multimedia content (videos, pictures, music, etc).
2. Going Green
This is another advantage of mLearning as e-books can now be used instead of the printed ones. There will also be no more printed hand-outs - as they will be distributed thru email or posted in the system. There will be no more need for pad paper and spiral notebooks, as students can just use their tablets to take notes, answer quizzes, and submit term papers.
3. Collaborative Learning
Who said that social media such as forums, Facebook, and Twitter can only be used for interaction with friends? With a system in place, educators can get feedback from their students and vice-versa. Students can also get in touch with their teachers easier – and vice-versa; thus allowing a faster medium for exchange in information. Not only is this collaboration limited to both students and teachers, parents can also join in the fun.
4. Less ‘take-home’ work for Educators
‘Take-home work’ has always been a given for the academe. Educators bring home hundreds of test papers to check, have tons of essays to proofread, and need to fulfill some record book (or Excel file) for tabulating all the grades – and this is done every day. With an mLearning system in place, quizzes get checked instantly, student s’ grades get computed automatically, and there’s no need to take home essays/papers because you can review them with just a single click.
Educators can also upload their materials thru the system; to make them more available to learners. Another plus is that, lesson plans can be created, saved, reviewed (and checked by the supervisor) thru the system as well.
5. Integration with Traditional Systems
Lesson planning, quizzes, tests, and exams, report cards, periodical reports, and even parent-teacher conferences can be integrated with an mLearning system. In this aspect, the sky's the limit.
Oh yeah, did I mention that Minreeva can do all of this for your school?