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How Mobile Technology is Giving Just About Everyone Access to Educational Opportunities
27 May 2017

How Mobile Technology is Giving Just About Everyone Access to Educational Opportunities

Nearly 70 million children across the globe don’t have access to education, a Global Campaign for Education study suggests. Northeastern African children are affected the most and they’re likely to either receive poor education or get no education at all.

Somalia, for example, is the country where the situation is the worst. Only 10 percent of the kids in Somalia are going to primary school.

New technology can be used to change the numbers. Fortunately, mobile devices are making education available in places where this simply wasn’t possible in the past. Here are just a few of the ways in which mobile devices are making educational opportunities effortlessly accessible.

Eliminating the Need for Classroom Education

A simple mobile device is all that it takes to give kids who don’t have access to a classroom the opportunity to obtain a much-needed education. The use of online lectures and podcasts makes it much easier for students to engage in educational interactions regardless of their location.

It’s highly likely for the classroom to become obsolete in the future, especially in parts of the world where the standard educational approach is simply not going to work.

Web-based learning comes with added benefits, as well. Students can pause the materials or go over them multiple times to master challenging concepts and understand difficult pieces of information. This is probably one of the most prominent educational reforms. It’s already been proven that homogenous learning approaches don’t work because students have their specialized needs. Mobile technology gives everybody a chance to learn at their own pace and make the most of the available materials.

Saving Money

For many, it’s impossible to obtain good education because of the cost linked to it. Online courses have provided a viable alternative that’s much more affordable than old-school classroom learning.

Statistics suggest that an online degree can cost almost 80 times less than a traditional degree. For the US, the total average cost of obtaining a standard university degree is 85,000 dollars in comparison to 30,000 dollars for an online degree.

So many people are discouraged from obtaining a higher education because they don’t have the funds for it or because they’ll need a student loan. Student loans are becoming increasingly cumbersome in the Western world, preventing so many from pursuing higher education.

Online degrees are comparable in quality to standard classroom sessions with academic instructors. A mobile device and good internet connectivity are all that it takes to participate in such a program. In certain instances, universities even provide the mobile technology (a tablet, for example) that students need to participate in learning activities. All of these initiatives increase the cost-effectiveness of getting an online education.

Access to Skills Training

Education isn’t just about getting a high school diploma. For many, this would be insufficient to get a good job and enjoy a successful professional future.

The good news is that mobile technology is ensuring access to skills training.

In today’s workplace, employers are looking for certain skills and qualifications. Very often, an academic degree will not be required. Rather, potential employees will have to prove that they have certain skills (acquired through a professional course or a qualification program).

Such learning opportunities are available online, just like academic degrees are.
Pluralsight is just one example of a company that offers training for professionals via a mobile platform. The Pluralsight website has an extensive professional library that features more than 3,000 courses. These are developed for IT professionals and individuals who want to eventually build a career in the highly profitable field.

Websites like the one mentioned above are offering education alternatives. In the past, specific training institutions held the rights to develop such courses. As a result, professional training was simply inaccessible to many. Luckily, mobile technologies and the internet are changing the status quo.

Opportunities for Disabled Students

Academic opportunities aren’t missing solely for those living in remote areas and people who simply don’t have the resources needed to obtain a traditional education. Students with disabilities may have access to limited programs, as well.

According to a recent study, students with disabilities are three times less likely than their peers to obtain any kind of qualification. They’re also half as likely to hold a university degree because of the associated impediments. Slightly over 19 percent of the disabled individuals in the UK do not hold formal qualifications. The numbers could be even worse for other countries.

Today, technology makes high school, university and professional education much easier to attain, regardless of disabilities.

Immobile students, the ones that have a hearing or an eyesight issue, for example, can participate in educational programs from the comfort of their own home. Specialized opportunities are also created for students that have a learning impediment.

Very often, such students are discriminated against because of their specialized needs. Mobile technology is changing all of that. Many disabled students have now gone ahead to pursue higher education levels from the comfort of their own home. The effortless 24/7 access to textbooks and study materials allows them to complete the program at a comfortable pace and without added pressure.

These are just some of the ways in which mobile technology is broadening the horizon of education. Risk groups, minorities, and communities that live in hardly accessible areas are the ones that can benefit the most from such technology. A reform is taking place in the educational world and chances are that it will soon provide opportunities to just about everyone who was previously ostracized due to social, economic or health reasons.

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