The current generation of students views technology as a fundamental part of their lives. They are born surrounded by technology and are relying on devices, applications and the network for many of their day-to-day activities. And for most of them, smartphones and tablets are major players in an unstoppable digital transformation that covers all areas of life, including education with mobile learning. It is unthinkable that the educational system leaves out e-learning methodologies, clearly demanded by a new type of digital society.
In this context, mobile learning, the use of mobile applications to access e-learning courses (online, blended or laboratories), takes on great importance. The teaching of languages with mobile learning has advantages for both students and teachers. In this sense, Evrim Baran, associate professor of educational technology at the Iowa State University, points out in her research “A Review of Research on Mobile Learning in Teacher Education” towards all the benefits that teaching through mobile devices allows for faculty, that are sometimes forgotten.
Mobile devices have become attractive learning devices for education. While the majority of the existing research has focused primarily on the value of mobile learning for students, researchers have recently started exploring its potentials within teacher development (… ) there is an increasing trend in integrating mobile learning in teacher education contexts (…) engagement with mobile learning and devices is primarily reported as being beneficial.
Baran, Evrim. (2014). A Review of Research on Mobile Learning in Teacher Education. Educational Technology & Society. 17. 17-32.
7 advantages of using apps to study languages
The literal growth of tablet and smartphone screens has allowed these mobile devices to be perfectly comfortable for students to access their lessons from them. Its widespread use is another factor that has democratized its use in education.
# 1 Able to facilitate a personalized study
Unlike the rigidity of books, the experience of a digital course through an educational platform, accessible through mobile devices, offers several degrees of personalization. From the one that provides teachers (reorganize the agenda, add new multimedia elements …) to the one offered to the students with the customization of the work area.
# 2 Access always available
The close relationship and the high use that is made of these devices facilitates access to the contents of e-learning language courses anywhere at any time and without internet connection, thanks to the pre-downloadable content of Dexway language courses.
# 3 Mobile learning favors linguistic immersion
With the apps of language courses, a total linguistic immersion can be achieved. Students can access their courses at any time and if they offer them a variety of options, they will use them not only for exercises but to listen to audios, watch videos, read books or magazines, karaoke or for fun activities such as letter soups or crossword puzzles.
# 4 Immediate interaction between students and teachers
While studying a lesson or doing exercises, questions may arise. If they do not arise at that moment, then you can forget to treat them in class which become deficits that drag. Mobile learning facilitates immediate communication between students and teachers, sometimes even live when online tutorials are established. The ease of being able to send a message from the same course at any time encourages students to ask questions, which may well be answered by the platform or reviewed in class for the benefit of the rest of the class.
If it is a self-formative course, it reinforces the relationship between students and tutors and allows students to contact within the course, without using other tools.
# 5 Eliminate barriers to make schedules more flexible
If a person does not find an education center that fits their schedule, they cannot study languages. For that person, mobile learning is an alternative access for online self-education in the most direct, simple and effective way. In addition, the contents are always ready for use in their mobile phone. This allows you to study at any free time you have, without having to carry any materials (such as a long ride by subway).
# 6 Greater variety of content provides higher quality of teaching
M-learning allows any format to be played on mobile devices; audio, videos, links, interactive exercises, PDF readings … A greater variety of materials with a course is formed, and a higher quality of an educational experience. This translates into more satisfied students, who acquire more complete knowledge and who maintain their interest from the beginning to the end of the course.
# 7 Digital backpack
In the case of educational centers, the use of mobile learning in the classrooms contributes to creating the so-called digital backpacks, which frees students from the heavy burden of books. Online language courses contain lessons, practical exercises, flashcards and even a dictionary in your application.
Although the advantages are proving every day to overcome the disadvantages as this modality is implemented in more and more formations, mobile learning encounters some difficulties on which it is important to improve the educational experience, such as the connectivity in the classroom.
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