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Can Mobile Apps help educate our youth?

Posted By: Joe Barker

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Having recently just started a graduate job here at eCom, i've had to adapt to new surroundings - working for a company heavily involved with creating eLearning material. As I become more accustomed to the eLearning industry, I ask myself how do individuals increase their knowledge on a particular subject in modern society? Just as the Bob Dylan song goes, ‘these times are-a changing’.

Growing up, my personal assets have somewhat evolved over the years. A colouring book-light up trainers-Digital Watch-Gameboy-PlayStation to an iPhone. How far we have come since the 90’s. Nowadays, seeing a child on their tablet or smartphone are deemed to be the norm. It is hard to keep kids away from such treasured possessions. It’s not as negative as the media portray it to be though. Apps and gamification can incorporate a fun method of blended learning.

Indeed there are those who suffer from technophobia, like my parents, who still struggle with the concept of a prehistoric Walkman. The majority of the public wish for their child to adhere to the more traditional forms of learning, such as reading books and taking notes. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. I am by no means endorsing the use of apps as a primary educational source, just more of a supplementation to their studies.

Apps enable kids to be educated in a fun, engaging way. The more one is engaged, the more likely they are to remember. So by creating a hybrid of entertainment and educational material a child can use this to complement their studies whilst at school. You can buy from a diverse selection of apps to fulfil their required needs. Take the Barefoot World Atlas for example. This exciting app invites your child to virtually explore the globe, giving them insight into different cultures and famous landmarks. It will even test your child with puzzles and quizzes to help strengthen their geographical awareness. It may even fuel your child’s ambition to physically travel to some of these places in the near future. Sounds great!

Nevertheless, there should be a limit as to how long your child is hypnotized by a small screen. It’s about creating a disciplined balance. Exploiting youth to technology whilst still allowing them to acknowledge the more traditional forms of study.  Although I am not a parent, I can understand the concern that parents may have. The obsessive nature that children sometimes hold towards a particular toy can be a worry. Yet, exposing them to small doses every so often as a treat can keep them happy and enrich their educational development – provided they are given the right apps to interact with.

With the internet celebrating a 25th anniversary it is amazing how far we have truly come with technology. Which leaves me to ponder what direction we are headed for. It is an intriguing and scary thought at the same time. What will the next 25 years bring? Is generation Y headed for a world of flying cars and robotic human beings? Or is my imagination getting carried away. …It’s not that farfetched if you really think about it.


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