Remember the days of covering your textbooks with brown paper grocery bags? I sure do. It was an educational tradition at the beginning of every school year, like getting new crayons or learning where your locker was.
The textbook-covering tradition is slowly (or rapidly, rather) disappearing as digital devices reshape both student engagement and their learning preferences. As content increasingly shifts to online platforms, the relevance of physical textbooks decreases, and the importance of mobile devices (needed to consume this digital content) only increases.
According to the info-graphic Bye Bye Textbooks (see below), here are three reasons why teachers should embrace the use of mobile devices to improve student engagement.
- Students are addicted to them. To mobile devices, that is. Whether it’s laptops, smartphones, tablets or eBooks, today’s digital natives prefer not to spend longer than ten minutes or so away from their device without checking it. Again, and again, and again. Why not harness this “digital dependence” and use it for something good? Like improving student engagement with interactive homework assignments and group projects…
- Students save time with them. No seriously. At least that’s what the students say. And, I must admit, mobile devices save me time, too. Industry research, driving directions, weather reports – it (usually) only takes a few seconds to find this information online. So, in theory, the same “time saving” benefits of digital information can be applied to homework assignments, research papers, historical pictures and documents, etc.
- Students prevent the deaths of more trees with them. Everything that used to require a lot of paper – writing reports, taking notes, administering tests, making presentations with those big white tri-fold pieces of cardboard – is now electronically mobile, which will hopefully prevent millions of teachers from getting carpal tunnel syndrome due to the repetitive motion of manually grading hundreds of papers every year. Welcome the paperless classroom!
But don’t take my word for it. The statistics in this info-graphic basically speak for themselves . . . digitally, of course.
Want more tips about how to improve engagement for students and parents? Download our FREE eBook, Engaged Parents, Engaged Students: Theory and Practice.