Discussion – educational benefits

This was our initial question:

What are the educational benefits of using mobile technologies in a classroom setting?

As the project went on we started to struggle with this question. We were questioning the question itself – especially the term ‘educational benefit’ and it became clear that we didn’t know what an educational benefit was, so how could we answer the question about how mobile technologies link to this?

As we were reviewing the data and discussing what was meant by ‘educational benefit’ we discovered that we could define it ourselves.

We define ‘educational benefit’ as:

  • Students enjoying class
  • Students reporting more confidence at home
  • Spending more time helping their kids with homework
  • Sharing apps used at home in class
  • Social (digital ) inclusion
  • Students can take control of their own learning
    • Down time at the end of the lesson allows for time to play
    • Semi-directed learning (with parameters set)
    • Students can teach the teacher

Many of these benefits link to the FELTAG report. We found that many of our students are from disadvantaged backgrounds, and it was the low level maths and ESOL groups that had the least access to their own technologies and the lowest levels of digital literacy skills. The higher level groups, (Cert Ed & GCSE maths groups) had the most access and were the most motivated to use their own technologies outside of the classroom. However, it was the 16-18 Functional English students who were the most keen to share their knowledge of technology with the tutor.

These also linked to the ETAG report (p.7)  too, and I think this quote sums up clearly what the educaitonal benefits are:

Digital technology can and should bring joy and engagement too: a delight in stellar progress, the exhilaration of unexpected challenges, the reaffirmation of a global audience.

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