The Growth of Edtech Gadgets’ Influence: is it benefitial for the Educational Process?

Author Chinavasion Marketing 16.5.2017. | 11:08

Today it is not surprising to see a child of the kindergarten age with a tablet or smartphone in the hands. Children start using modern gadgets as soon as they realize how to do that and believe, that happens very early. No wonder a variety of such gadgets have also become a part of the educational process but for many scientists, their beneficial influence is rather questionable. If several years ago only a good half of all the pupils had phones, today the absence of this device would be much more unbelievable than its owning. All modern gadgets possessed by both teachers and pupils make a great impact on the educational process and it is important to consider whether it is beneficial or not.

What way do gadgets influence learning?

Though it may seem that a telephone is used only for calling and sending messages, a tablet – for watching films and surfing the Web, a smart watch – for learning time etc., all that is only a tiny part of functions offered by modern gadgets. Most of them and many others can be used for educational purposes. Depending on the gadget you prefer the functionality is different. There is a variety of modern software and applications, moreover, some gadgets like a wireless presenter or Inkling can substitute many customary for us items.

Gadgets can be used at any stage of learning:

  • Presenting new information;
  • Building or improving some skills;
  • Checking the efficiency of obtained knowledge etc.

Some gadgets even destroy physical boundaries allowing deaf, blind people feel confident and educated. Students with special needs can opt for assertive devices that make studying for them much easier.

But there is the opposite side of the coin too, as many gadgets brought by pupils to the educational establishments become great distractors of attention or used for cheating purposes. Modern devices can also make a detrimental influence on studying so let us consider what will outweigh: benefits or drawbacks of their use at schools.

Pros and cons of using gadgets for educational purposes

As any tool or material used in learning gadgets also have their positive and negative influence on the educational process. Of course, researchers emphasize great advantages of using modern devices:

  1. Absence of boundaries

Previously, people’s desire to study was restricted by the possible opportunities. To get a new book it was necessary to spend money or go to the library, for example. Today everything is much simpler: you can find any necessary information on the Web from your cell phone, tablet or smartwatch. It is available in any place, anytime and from almost any modern gadget, so online learning has no boundaries and is very flexible.

  1. Available resources

The volume of information contained on the Internet can be hardly compared with anything, so it is possible to find there what you need in a matter of minutes.

  1. Being motivated

Allowing students to use technology makes youth feel as if they control the procedure. Learners have no boundaries so studying is performed in a pleasant atmosphere without any restrictions. That is a real boost to continue learning and be inspired to get new knowledge.

  1. Possibility to focus on certain skills and directions

Modern gadgets provide students with the opportunity to choose the direction or topic they need to master or deepen knowledge. There are no limits in time and amount of the offered information, so there is always a possibility to find your own educational pace.

  1. Changing attitude and representation of many subjects

Use of technology can change the attitude to the discipline upside down. If former students had to learn about new countries at the lessons of geography from the books and maps, today they travel to them online. The same thing is with maths knowledge, where received skills can be now applied practically and students can create the objects from their imagination with the help of a 3D printer, for example.

Unfortunately, the introduction of any new technological device has some difficulties and negative impact:

  1. Attention distraction

Any device familiar to students can be used by them with different from educational goals. That is a great benefit as usually youth can find thousands of other activities apart from studying. No wonder a super gadget will undoubtedly have many interesting functions.

  1. Addiction

It is a pity but technological development may cause addiction and obsession. Young people are not mature enough to cope with such problems and many of them become addicts of popular games, virtual world, social media websites. And the more often they use the devices, the more accustomed to them teenagers get.

  1. Cheating and malpractice

Of course, if a device is connected to the Internet, for example, who will wish to visit educational websites if you can start a chat or find an activity to your taste? Malpractice is a common thing for high school youth. Moreover, modern devices can be incredibly helpful at the tests or writing tasks. Students can look for right answers, communicate with each other or copy passages from the Web and cheat educators.

  1. Websites with poor quality content and illegal ads

Even the most beneficial websites are not protected from ads that shouldn’t be seen by representatives under 18. Students are also not secured from that both online and in the mobile applications.

  1. Health and cost issues

Any modern gadget produces an electromagnetic effect and being constantly surrounded by it is not beneficial for human’s health. Some of them have batteries that are difficult to utilize or recycle, while others can be easily damaged or broken – an unpleasant surprise for both a teacher and parents.


A great technological leap forward resulted in a variety of modern gadgets that can be used in the educational process. Some of them have become customary for us, the others are only gaining popularity. Let’s see what devices can be useful in education and in what way.

  1. Cell phone

Smart and cell phones can be noticed in the hands of many pupils. But their functionality can contribute to studying as well. Teacher-student cooperation apps, applications to learn different subjects, possibility to store files are only some of the opportunities offered by phones.

  1. Tablet, iPad, laptop

Tablets have the same functions as many smear phones, but their greatest benefit is a larger screen. That makes online learning much comfortable. It can also be used by a teacher as a source of video streaming for small groups of learners or even a projector for more numerous classes.

  1. Smartwatch

This device is similar to phones and tablets in possible edu solutions but no compact in size.

  1. Smartpen

Taking notes can be a painstaking task, but a smartpen has eased it enormously. You can record any information you hear or write and send it to the computer or mobile device. There is also a possibility to customize it adding some educational applications.

  1. Projector

Lectures, multimedia presentations, videos are only some of the functions provided by a projector in the classroom. Only imagineto what degree it can be useful if you hook it up with other classroom devices.

  1. Smart and intelliboards

Playing a role of an ordinary whiteboard this device can offer much more interesting functions. It can record what is written and transform it into a decent visual element. Think only how great it is to use a Promethean board that functions as a giant touch-enabled computer screen.

  1. Digital textbooks

Today children do not have to carry heavy bags and rucksacks full of paper books as all the books are available in the digital format – it is enough to have a digital textbook.

  1. Portable or pen scanner

Today it is not necessary to switch on the computer with an adjusted scanner to make an image. There is a portable scanner for this purpose. You can scan the whole page or separate words and send the image to your cell phone – fast and simple way not to tear off book pages.

Educational software and applications for modern gadgets

It is obvious that either software or applications created for educational purposes are incredibly various. There are so many examples to meet even the most exquisite requirements. In general, they can be divided into many groups the most obvious of which are the following:

  • Educational apps and software for different age groups: children between 2 and 5, pupils of the primary, secondary, high school, university and college students, adults etc.
  • Subject-based groups: learning alphabet, languages, maths, geography, physics, science etc.
  • Depending on the way of learning: video, games, audio, images, puzzle solving, filling the blanks, multiple choice, real life communication etc.
  • If to speak about the most promising and popular Edu software in 2017, this year the emphasis will be made on:
  • Learning management system  (LMS). This is a highly functional hub for educators and students that allows them to communicate, assign tasks, organize learning materials, assess and fill in the grade table. These general features are characteristic of most top LMS like Canvas, Moodle, Google Classroom, TalentLMS But there are also LMS that combine the features of other services like Noplag@EDU, where LMS functions intertwine with plagiarism detection services or WisDOM Training that caters to external stakeholders and is perfect for selling training.
  1. Student Information System (SIS)

This software was created especially for educators, students and their parents for them to be able to control schooling. This system contains all the important information about the student, his grades, achievements, attendance records and parents can enter it anytime to track the progress. The most popular SIS are PowerSchool, Banner Student, Skyward Student Management Suite, Infinite Campus and other.

  1. Classroom management

Encouragement is incredibly important for better academic achievements and classroom management tools can be useful for this purpose. These are tools aimed at adding the lessons another dimension, making them more interactive and exciting. The top 3 management tools are ClassDojo, LanSchool, Kahoot!.

  1. Assessment software

Education professionals are inclined to use computer-based tests and quizzes more often, so the assessment software popularity is gaining pace this year. Such software is reliable and can be integrated into many modern LMS, so it is much easier and comfortable to get the final results without the necessity to check papers and count grades manually. You can try such assessment tools as NWEA Assessments, Engrade, and Nearpod etc.


Fun ways to use gadgets at the lessons

Most of the teachers use modern gadgets for customary learning techniques. Watching educational videos, listening to reports or other audio, multiple choice tests are available on many modern gadgets, but their functionality offers a much wider range of activities to make learning a real fun.

  1. Playing modern games

Gamification is not a new term in education but still, many teachers are afraid of implementing them at the lessons. But modern educational games are offered in a variety of subjects today, so gadgets can be inspiring assistants in learning.

  1. Social media

Social networks have become an integral part of people’s lives and students are not an exception. Teachers can use social media websites and apps available on most of the modern gadgets to assign tasks in a more customary for youth way, for example, than ordinary diaries. Moreover, students will rather interact with each other in the chat than discuss problems at the lessons.

  1. Blogging

A good way to use modern gadgets and encourage children to read and write is blogging. Students’ pieces of writing become available to millions of people and that is a good motivation to write without mistakes, make their texts interesting and read the compositions others to compare.

  1. Video conferencing

Though it is a popular way of online learning, it can also be applied in the classroom as well. You can invite native speakers to join your language lessons, some scientists to focus on the specific topic or sick students who were not able to come to school because of illness but wished to join the lecture.

  1. Offer Students to teach

Students always appreciate being entrusted with teacher’s responsibilities. Using modern gadgets in various ways it is always funny to invite students to teach their classmates the way they think is interesting for others. Kids and youth will surprise the teacher as they often offer such extraordinary use of technology that nobody could even imagine.

Is it beneficial for education to use gadgets?

Without any doubts, the answer to this question is “yes”. We live in the era of technology and it is impossible to stay abreast of it if it is everywhere. So the introduction of gadgets in education is inevitable. The only circumstance to be considered is the way teachers use it. Scholars and educators should focus on the problem of modern devices in schooling offering teachers as much useful information about their implementation as possible. Undoubtedly, these gadgets will only benefit the educational process as a whole and motivate youth to study and develop.

Author Chinavasion Marketing 16.5.2017. | 11:08
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