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Why is Mobile Technology Becoming an Integral Part in Our lives? Where Can it Play a Big Role in the K-12 Market?

August 24, 2016 | By: Dovi Weiss, Ph.D. & Yair Adibi, M.Sc.

Mobile technology is ever-present in the lives of today's students. According to a recent report, 86 percent of undergraduates in the United States own a smartphone, and nearly half (47 percent) own a tablet.  As an integral part of their daily lives, mobile technology has changed how they communicate, gather information, and allocate their time and attention. This landscape represents new opportunities for learners both inside and outside of the classroom with mobile devices, learning can happen anywhere, and in any sector—schools, post-secondary learning and vocational, as well as corporate training.

Many researchers and educators believe that mobile technology can provide a better way to engage students than traditional methods. In fact, a study (performed by Martin & Ertzberger) indicated that mobile technologies can indeed be more engaging to students. The benefits of mobile learning are numerous: extending learning beyond the classroom, supporting collaborative learning and personalized learning, and also improving interactions between the teacher and students as well as between students themselves.

With proven results backing it up, it's no wonder that the mobile learning industry is booming. Mobile learning is already a $5.3 billion dollar industry and is predicted to reach $12.2 billion in 2017. Taking all of this into account, we can increasingly expect to see a tendency to implement mobile learning strategies in sectors that deal with knowledge transformation.

Recently, we have examined in Time to Know different potential trends in K-12 and one of the subjects looked we over was the size of the U.S. market for after-school tutoring and test preparation. There are some estimates that the market size has been as high as $5-$7 billion (Education Industry Association - EIA) or as low as $840 million (IBIS; 2013 estimate). We believe the most reliable estimates are the ones by provided by Eduventures, which values the K-12 tutoring & test preparation market at a bit under $1 billion, with relatively flat growth in 2019 while 80% of parents spend on private tutoring. On top of this, 54% of respondents of an IESD Survey (Interactive Educational System Design, Inc.) -out of a sample of 558 qualified educators in the K-12 system across multiple districts- noted in 2013 that 25% or less of schools in their district have adopted mobile technology for instruction. A majority (64%) reported that their districts were either very likely or somewhat likely to adopt mobile technology within 1-2 years. We believe that in a near future, schools will play a big role in helping to reduce the spending on tutoring and will give the necessary support to students through technology  in general and through m-learning in particular.

When looking today for teaching and learning platforms through the eyes of m-learning, one should look for software with “play anywhere” capabilities: this means that the learner should be able to learn on any device, at any place and in any time in order to reach a maximal level of flexibility and compatibility. At Time to Know, our range of Ed-Tech solutions fully supports mobile learning, whether for schools, higher-ed, vocational, corporate or publishers. To learn more about our solutions, visit our website or contact us to speak with one our expert Ed-Tech consultants.

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