Connected learning: How mobile technology can improve education

Education is at a critical juncture in many nations around the world. It is vital for student learning, workforce development, and economic prosperity. For example, research in Turkey has found that raising the compulsory education requirement from five to eight years increased the percentage of women having eight years of school by 11 percentage points, and had a variety of positive social consequences.

Yet despite the emergence of digital learning, most countries still design their educational systems for agrarian and industrial eras, not the 21st century. This creates major problems for young people who enter the labor force as well as teachers and parents who want children to compete effectively in the global economy.

In this paper, Darrell West examines how mobile devices with cellular connectivity improve learning and engage students and teachers. Wireless technology and mobile devices:

  • Provide new content and facilitate information access wherever a student is located
  • Enable, empower, and engage learning in ways that transform the environment for students inside and outside school
  • Allow students to connect, communicate, collaborate, and create using rich digital resources, preparing them to adapt to quickly evolving new technologies
  • Incorporate real-time assessment of student performance
  • Catalyze student development in areas of critical-thinking and collaborative learning, giving students a competitive edge