Technology is a word, commonly used to describe the abilities, undertakings, views, creations, knowledge and development of people as human beings. Advancement in technology has been mostly responsible for the numerous secular trends occurring in the world today. In respect to education, many arguments have been put forward to support the positive impact of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education. Most of these arguments focus on issues of regional and global contexts. These is increasing demand for education for all, changing the nature of learners and the veracity that the extant educational systems may not effectively cope with problems of equity, access, resources and increased demand for education. I do believe that technology including the use of cell phones in education could help a great deal in enhanced classroom interaction. With the current trend of ICT incorporation in education systems, there is no doubt that the use of ICT infrastructure, including cell phones in education are set to become paramount.
In recent few years one has seen the increased use of cell phones in the education system. Qusay (2009) reinforces the significance of such statement and =notes that cell phones can typically be used in enhancing the learning processes. The author emphasizes that “Students must be prepared for the world of today and not the world of Yesterday” (Qusay, “Ways Cell Phones Can Be Used to Enhance Learning”).
Qusay, who is a teacher in computer science, states how he integrated Blackberry smartphones in his computer courses. He went on to note how his students enjoyed the experience of learning through the devices. The most important aspect was that they were able to grasp some topics more easily when they were demonstrated using smartphones.
Among the basis for the increased reputation of using cell phones for education purposes is the fact that they are carried and can be accessed anytime and everywhere. This means that individuals will find it possible to read e-books or other learning materials in places where they cannot find their choice of printed books using their mobile phones (Kayany and Yelsma 215-229). Furthermore, many individuals will prefer using their cell phones in some of their learning processes in an effort to avert the trouble of having to carry physical books from one point to the other. One can purchase, download and begin reading e-books over their mobile phones within few minutes and at his or her comfort.
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Cell phones have reduced the necessity of going to a bookstore to purchase one’s choice of books or wait a long time for them to be delivered. Moreover, one would not have to incur transportation or shipping costs just like traditional books. In addition, the less space usually required by cell phones in storing e-books is also another significant advantage, which cannot be matched by printed books. Practically, the person requires very little space for storing e-books on the cell phones as there is no need of designing libraries for such books. Moreover, advanced cell phones have capabilities of storing massive number of e-books (Vakkari 618-638).
The low cost of publishing and purchasing e-books have undoubtedly encouraged many writers to publish their books electronically. This implies that a large number of newly published books will be available on the digital platform than on the common libraries. On the other hand, buyers who need these books at a cheaper price will have to resort to online libraries, where the prices for such books are typically lower than in common libraries (Kayany and Yelsma 215-229). Digital devices including cell phones have, therefore, become a necessity in obtaining such books. Additionally, e-books are also sometimes sold with bonuses, which may never happen with printed ones. This factor adds value to the purchase of e-books on the cell phones and other online platforms, hence, encouraging more buyers to purchase e-books and other learning materials through their phones (Vakkari 630).
Finally, the portability of cell phones as one of its key advantage cannot be left behind. An entire library of books can be carried on a cell phone, laptop, CD, notebook or any other kind of book reader with no worry of weight matters (Kayany and Yelsma 215-229). In addition, it should be considered that there are many people who spend much of their time with their phones and personal computers. For such, it is easy and possible to use an e-book instead of doing something else that would otherwise consume their time.
Despite the benefits associated with digitalization and the portability of digital devices such as cell phones as electronic libraries, there are some people who argue that cell phones ought not be allowed in the classrooms. Among the basis for such arguments are those consistent uses of cell phones has negative impact on the user’s health. Among these effects is increased restlessness, high consumption of stimulants, sleep problems, fatigue and stress. Other health effects on excessive use of cell phones include headaches and distraction from their regular activities. To prevent such problems, the opponents on the use of cell-phones argue that students should not be permitted to use their phones in school (Vakkari 618-638).
According to Kayany, & Yelsma, not all digital forms of media could completely replace its older versions. Instead, they will have to coexist (218). A good example could be derived from the use of digital cameras. Although people could buy and own the latter, they still have to print the images created. Similarly, a lot more people would also like to have e-texts in print forms. Further, printed books can also be shared. This also can be done with no risk of virus infection, which could cost one a mobile phone, laptop or any other device if not managed carefully.
Going with the recent trends in the massive digital publications and e-reading, there is no doubt that use of electronic devices in education is paramount. With these overwhelming benefits, as well as the emerging trends in production, sale and distribution of e-books, it is easy to comprehend why digital devices such as cell phones will be embraced as learning tools. This postulation is further promoted by the fact that in this age of advanced technology, many things are now done using electronic devices such computers, mobile phones and laptops. We can also not forget that many countries are considering providing laptops to all students entering school. There is, therefore, a potential for cell phones and other digital devices to take a critical role in the education systems.