Education is always fighting to stay informative but also engaging. One of the most distracting aspect of teaching is looking out and seeing 50% of the class fighting the urge to pick up the phone and scroll down instagram to see Kylie Jenner’s latest hair color….
It’s addicting, mobile phone usage is an epidemic. Younger users stand out especially prominently when it comes to using their phone for two purposes in particular: avoiding boredom, and avoiding people around them.
According to Pew Research– Fully 93% of 18-29 year old smartphone owners in the experience sampling study used their phone at least once to avoid being bored, with respondents in this age group reporting that they did so in average of 5.4 surveys over the one-week study period. Similarly, 47% of young smartphone owners used their phone to avoid interacting with the people around them at least once during the study period, roughly three times the proportion of older smartphone owners who did so.
What chance do these poor educators have? recently I was contacted by an educator in the United States who told us that he had stopped trying to fight his students using their phones, tablets, etc..
Instead of looking at journals and academic materials he spends his time between semesters researching apps he can add to the curriculum. Yes, apps. If the data from Pew Research is anything to go by then maybe he is onto something.
From ‘On Looking’- “concentration” is selective and easing our cognitive overload by allowing us to conserve our precious mental resources only for the stimuli of immediate and vital importance, and to dismiss all else. If this is true the habit of constant mobile phone use is creating a strong subconscious prioritisation. Therefore, concentration will be peaked when we are looking through mobile devices….
Millennials, getting their education through a 5 inch screen. As long as they are learning, right?
Our friend the professor isn’t the only one getting in on the act.
Google Play & Apple Store are catering to the demand for more app based learning. Apple’s Volume purchase program for Education & Google’s apps for education. Both allow an institution to buy-in-bulk for the purpose of distribution to students.
Nice work Google, nice work Apple. Now you can get up to 25k installs in just one click. For Free!