Technological advancements are some of the major achievements of the 21st century. Regardless of where we are in the world, the impact of these advancements has been quite tremendous and fascinating to be felt in every part of the world. Within the entire sphere of technology, it has arguably been mentioned that mobile technology has played a significant role in shaping and transforming lives.
Several sectors have been rejuvenated as a result of this technology (Reiser & Dempsey, 2011). This analysis explores mobile technology and how it has been incorporated into the education system to promote efficient service delivery. To achieve this target, reputable and up-to-date journals will be consulted together with the study book used in class.
Mobile technology does not mean anything different from what it literally implies. This refers to portable technology or any device that can be carried by somebody to perform a variety of tasks. These devices include but not limited to laptops, palmtops, mobile phones, Global Positioning System devices and wireless cards, commonly used at the point of sale terminals. It therefore suffices to mention that mobile technology allows people to use information technology without necessarily being tied to a particular location.
One can work away from office, or perform specific tasks without having to physically avail themselves (Koszalka & Ntloedibe-Kuswani, 2010). When people are traveling, mobile technology ensures that they remain connected and updated with what is happening at every moment. This allows business people to manage their businesses while they are away. As a result, a lot has changed in the way business is done since mobile technology has introduced new and better approaches towards management and coordination of events.
For mobile technology to be successful, mobile devices are usually enabled to allow connectivity using certain technologies. A good example is Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity), which principally operates within a local area network for the purpose of allowing internet connectivity. On the other hand, Bluetooth allows the connection of mobile devices wireless and permits transfer of data from one point to the other as long as the two devices on both ends are Bluetooth enabled. Other services include 3G, GSM, GPRS and dial up services, which mainly encompass the use of internet gadgets like modems in expanding internet services (Berry & Hamilton, 2010).
Based on mobile devices and technologies applied today, there is no doubt that mobile technology has countless benefits, cutting across different spheres of life. For instance, this technology is known to improve the quality of services rendered to customers (Koszalka & Ntloedibe-Kuswani, 2010). In this case, managers can easily access customer relationship management channel and respond to their needs through the internet. This eliminates the traditional norm of being present in the office to serve clients. Alternatively, customers may also be allowed to make their payments through mobile technology without having to go to the office to pay bills.
Through linkage to the office network, this technology may allow access to database systems while you are offsite, thus promoting efficacy in service delivery (Berry & Hamilton, 2010). Through such connections, one can make an online order, monitor stock performance or even create a new account for a given customer. From these examples, it is evident that mobile technology has far reaching impact in life. Another sector which has been transformed via mobile technology is education. The following segments discuss mobile education and its impact on students, parents and the entire system.
Mobile learning or mobile education may take different meanings depending on the context and community in which the term is being used. Related to distance learning and e-learning, mobile education is usually coupled with the notion and use of mobile devices discussed in the previous segment of this analysis. In general, mobile education can be described as a form of learning, which occurs when learners are not necessarily gathered in a four-walled classroom (González, 2010).
In this case, the learner usually takes advantage of existing mobile technologies to acquire knowledge, which would be difficult in the absence of such technologies. A major characteristic of mobile education is that it reduces the need for location learning as information is relayed through portable devices and technologies.
This type of education focuses on the movement of learners, continuous interaction with mobile technologies and appreciation of how the society can recognize and support an increasing usage of mobile technology. Instructors are also able to move with technology and create teaching aids to enhance the understanding of learners who may experience any form of difficulty.
Augmented by mobile technology, mobile education is considered to be more convenient and accessible from any destination through virtual connection (Jeng et al., 2010). This type of education is collaborative and allows instant sharing of ideas with other people in different locations as long as they are using the same learning content. It is being considered as an effective learning approach even as books are being replaced by RAMs with relevant learning materials.
Impact of Mobile Education
As mentioned above, mobile education is being considered as an effective way of learning outside the classroom. Supported by mobile technology, this approach is seen as a milestone in the education sector as a positive response towards technological advancement in the 21st century (Reiser & Dempsey, 2011). However, this has affected the education sector in a myriad of ways. Those affected include teachers and students, who are considered as key players in the education system. One of the major effects of mobile education which affects students and teachers is distraction and abuse of technology by students.
According to research findings, there are several schools in the United States, which have banned the use of laptops and mobile phones in classrooms to allow learners to concentrate and listen to their tutors. How does this distraction occur? Many students prefer using mobile devices for fun and entertainment. As a result, some end up spending their class time listening to music, watching movies or even chatting on social networks like Facebook and Twitter (Hicks & Sinkinson, 2011).
Continuous wireless connection also exposes students to internet risks like cyber bullying and hacking. Through online chatting, students meet bullies who threaten them and sometimes manage to get their private information thus putting their security at stake. On the other hand, teachers are challenged to adopt a new mode of teaching that is different from the traditional way of teaching (Hicks & Sinkinson, 2011).
For them to appreciate mobile education, teachers need skills and technical know-how in learning how to incorporate mobile technology in teaching. It is the role of educationists and other stakeholders to impart teachers with relevant technological skills. Another challenge posed is the cost involved as the devices required and installations of mobile technologies are costly (Reiser & Dempsey, 2011).
From the above analysis, it is true that the advancement in technology continues to transform several sectors including education. It has allowed learning outside the classroom and enhanced collaborative interactions. In this regard, the topic is important for further research to identify ways of dealing with effects of mobile technology on students, instructors and the entire education sector. The knowledge about the topic would be enhanced through surveys and literature review. Interviews and discussions would also be efficient in learning more about the topic.
Berry, M., & Hamilton, M. (2010). Mobile Computing Applications: Bluetooth for Local Voices. Journal of Urban Technology, 17(2), 37–55.
González, C. (2010). What do university teachers think eLearning is good for in their teaching? Studies in Higher Education, 35(1), 61–78.
Hicks, A., & Sinkinson, C. (2011). Situated Questions and Answers: Responding to Library Users with QR Codes. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 51(1), 60–69.
Jeng et al. (2010). The Add-on Impact of Mobile Applications in Learning Strategies: A Review Study. Educational Technology & Society, 13 (3), 3–11.
Koszalka, T., & Ntloedibe-Kuswani, G. (2010). Literature on the safe and disruptive learning potential of mobile technologies. Distance Education, 31(2), 139–157.
Reiser, R., & Dempsey, J. (2011). Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, Incorporated.