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What if we allowed the use of smartphones in class?

Many students now have access to a smart phone or a multimedia player that provides quick access to various information. Instead of banning these devices in the classroom, educa.ch, a Swiss institute specializing in ICT issues, instead offers solutions to integrate them.

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Many students now have access to a smart phone or a multimedia player that provides quick access to various information. Instead of banning these devices in the classroom, educa.ch, a Swiss institute specializing in ICT issues, instead offers solutions to integrate them.

Are we going against the grain by denying students the use of their smartphones as a teaching aid in the classroom? At least that's what a study by the Swiss institute implies. educa.ch, specialist in questions and issues relating to ICT. Since many students already have smartphones or other media players, why not put them to good use in the classroom instead.

The mobile alternative
Mobile devices appear, in the eyes of Swiss observers, as an alternative to computerized classrooms. It is also judged that inevitably, since the use of mobile devices is widespread outside the walls of the classroom, it will be necessary to find a way to integrate them inside the walls. We see in these devices interesting support for homework, thanks in particular to the many applications available for smartphones and media players. But they are also considered to be useful for practicing transversal skills in general media education.

The study offers several examples of classroom practices and lists of teaching applications for iOS or Android mobile devices, such asiPhysics or iMaths. But she also points out that mobile devices can fulfill several basic educational needs such as arithmetic, translation, research and information sharing.

Note that the study, entitled Mobile phones at school?, assumes that mobile phones and other small mobile devices are widely used among students, which does not necessarily reflect the reality of all students. However, without directly addressing the issue of the costs associated with the use of mobile devices in the classroom, the mobile alternative is judged to be less complicated and more spontaneous than equipping an entire classroom with laptops or reserving a long time in the classroom. says the only computer class in the school. In addition, while we can, like Switzerland, benefit from numerous free teaching applications for mobile devices, we do not yet have a program such as the “schweizr suissr svizzr”, an initiative of the Institute for the Media and the school of the University of Central Switzerland, which allows classes to work free of charge for two weeks with ten iPhones.

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