There has been a revolution in education led by schools that have embraced, rather than banned, new technology that is popular with the students. There has been a great deal of press about the “flipped classroom” and similar tech-based learning concepts. The idea is that it is a more efficient use of the teacher’s time to record a video or app that students watch at home, then answer questions and solve problems in the classroom. Essentially, the low-cost and reliability of Android-based e-book readers are turning lectures into homework and homework into schoolwork now.E-readers like the Kindle, iPad or Nook are better suited for schools as effective learning tools than text books because they can change, grow and adapt to the needs of particular classes or even individual students. A well-designed suite of mobile apps can build an early ease and natural interaction with computing devices. E-book readers offer practical ways to enhance learning, student and teacher productivity besides bring down the rising costs of school materials for administrators.
The costs that are reduced include the purchase of paper, the cost associated with cleaning up and recycling paper, lost and broken pencils or pens, erasers, markers, and other display materials such as felt or white board accessories. The savings far offset the cost of providing e-readers and the necessary ebooks or apps. Changes in curriculum and testing standards can be implemented instantly with a new app download from the app store instead of the vast administrative burden of changing text book providers.
Although the next generation of school children prefer the user experience of apps and mobile e-readers, parents tend to think of e-readers as expensive. Educators have found that the average cost of an e-reader is 50 percent of that of all the textbooks that it can contain. As a matter of fact, e-readers running cloud-based software effectively pays for themselves in the first school year that they are used. Lesser known and less expensive e-readers like Ectaco and Kobo earn back their investments even more rapidly.
There is no more time to waste when the need so clearly exists for a suite of mobile apps on an Android e-book reader that can perform essential education functions. These apps could provide a framework for enhanced learning for gifted children, monitor progress with benchmarks that both schools and parents can agree on, generate instant reporting data that can be presented visually and generally improve both collaboration and communication between homes and schools.
Along the way, these apps will also encourage more healthy interactions between all the stakeholders, including between students. The time has come to help children prepare for the next great leap in knowledge by teaching them mobile computing skills early and letting them experience classic education in a new way.
Education means preparing for the future. For children to succeed in this new world, they need to be prepared for a future where communication operates at light speed and technology offers original solutions to seemingly intractable problems of the past.