How mobile technology in education is shaping the next generation of employees

Technology plays an increasingly important role in education. In classrooms around the world, teachers are adapting and incorporating devices into the exchange of information with students. Mobile technologies, in particular, are dramatically influencing how and when students learn.

Nationwide, Internet connectivity is available in more than 90% of classrooms. There is a computer in almost every classroom, and students are increasingly linked to technology at home.

Recognising this clear shift toward digital, teachers are engaging students in more meaningful ways by using technology, including mobile devices, as teaching tools. Many of today’s students have never known a world without technology, and they have little patience or aptitude for a learning environment without it.

This trend is not exclusive to the field of education. In just a decade, today’s learners – from elementary to high school – will enter the workforce as skilled and digitally-driven professionals. The devices favored by students today will inform how businesses come to work and communicate tomorrow.

> See also: How one school is turning Generation Z into into entrepreneurial innovators

Although this transition may seem far away, companies can determine how future generations will work and learn best by observing how technologies are impacting education now. Educational systems are transitioning from traditional tools to more advanced technologies, and businesses will soon need to do the same.

The rise of differentiated learning

Mobile devices provide teachers with tools to personalise learning from one student to the next. For example, during a geography lesson, a visual learner can engage material through an interactive map on a tablet.

Another student, who prefers reading, can study with an online textbook. With smartphones and tablets, all students have the opportunity to learn in the manner best suited to them.

Looking forward, differentiated learning will impact how students approach workplace learning. The presence of mobile devices in classrooms is conditioning students to expect and respond best to individualised learning.

Large company meetings or generic PowerPoints will no longer suffice as tools for conveying important information. Instead, businesses will need to add mobile technologies into areas such as company onboarding and routine trainings.

Employees will better retain and utilise material when learning is explorative across personalised channels.

The value of real-time monitoring

Beyond making classrooms more fun, teachers can use a master tablet, or similar mobile devices, to monitor how students are doing on a given task. If one student is falling behind while another is racing ahead, these insights inform the teacher so they can adjust workloads and help all students thrive simultaneously.

As with differentiated learning, today’s students require individualised attention. This is particularly true in larger classrooms and will be a trend within larger companies in the future.

Similar to a teacher, a manager will be able to track how well employees are performing on assigned tasks with mobile devices. After noticing different work paces or processes, the manager would have the ability to redistribute tasks, provide additional assistance or even flag high-achieving employees for promotion. Individual work monitoring in real time will help businesses solve more inefficiencies and foster company growth.

A need for automation

Technologies in the classroom eliminate the need for students and teachers to complete tedious tasks by hand. Teachers can use mobile programs to automatically organise classwork or grade assignments, and students can use mobile to make collaborating on group work or research easier. The accessibility and ease of mobile technology has created a need for automation both inside and outside of the classroom.

Today’s students will grow up to expect – and more importantly, to rely on – the assistance of these devices. Employers must be strategic in their integration of automation tools and systems.

Processes such as timesheet submission and project tracking can save time and are accessible from anywhere through mobile technologies. The next generation of workers will expect their jobs to be interconnected through a series of mobile apps.

The freedom to work from anywhere

One of mobile’s more unique extensions is the ability to extend learning outside of the classroom. More and more often, students are being allowed to take school-owned devices home.

Barriers to learning continue to lower (across a wide range of student demographics) as schools put studying, research and homework at a student’s fingertips.

The freedom to learn from virtually anywhere is something that will benefit businesses as well. Mobile technologies give as employees the freedom to create a flexible work environment, which may impact the traditional office set up in the future.

Perhaps today’s students will be more inclined to work remotely, or to move around the office away from desks, than previous generations. Businesses will have to be open to these structural changes, giving employees control over how, where and when they work, in order to increase productivity and happiness on the job.

> See also: How to build a unified mobile strategy for the wearable age

Meaningful student engagement is increasingly dependent upon providing an interactive learning environment. Teachers’ adaptation of mobile devices in their classrooms is providing exciting educational improvements.

For businesses, similar benefits will come with incorporating today’s technologies for the next generation’s workforce. Technological enhancements can drive great results, and mobile is not going anywhere soon. If fact, it’s only going to continue to grow.

While today’s digital generation may struggle to use a computer mouse, they are highly adept with modern technological tools and systems. Just as there is no reason to teach today’s students on a floppy disk, there will be no need for them to work with outdated technologies in the days to come.

Mobile development is still in the grassroots stages. However, businesses should begin learning more about new technologies and embrace them now. Generation Z will be our workforce before we know it.

Sourced from Erik Burckart, CTO of PointSource

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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