From Apple to Samsung, everyone’s smartphones are packed with apps. Whether it’s learning from the best business brains with TED, filling your brain with music trivia via Shazam or digesting the latest news via the BBC or Sky, tech teaches us all the time.
Parents, too, are widening their knowledge thanks to the latest EdTech, easily downloadable apps to help children learn everything from times tables to basic engineering skills.
Social media is everywhere, delivering compelling content and incredible images of everything from the natural world to political changes.
Why is this? Technology – it’s making us smarter than ever.
Ofcom figures say of the adults who own mobile phones, two-thirds use them to access the internet. With the world at our fingertips, is it any wonder that, thanks to our mobile devices, we’re learning all the time?
Here’s exactly how tech teaches us day-to-day, and ways you could use it to your advantage:
It sounds obvious, but screen-time doesn’t have to be mind-numbing. Netmums extols the virtues of Percy Parker, the musical-themed times tables app for five to 11-year-olds. Can you still remember 12x12? Without going through the whole set in your head first? If you can, then you’re mathematically better than me.
Monster Time will help your little tots learn analogue and digital time-telling.
Eggs on Legs and Pop Math promise to help even the most numerically challenged with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. If your schooldays were filled with football, not fractions, you could learn a lot from your children’s apps.
Just make sure you and your smartphone stay one step ahead of them at homework time.
The Google Effect
Back in the day, if we wanted to know how many legs a millipede had, we had to trek down to the library, pull out a dusty script, and spend hours trawling through the index to find the answer. Now, whether we’re 9 or 90, Google has the answer at the click of a mouse.
From looking up Ernest Shackleton’s polar expeditions to researching the Battle of Hastings, information is at our fingertips thanks to mobiles, laptops and tablets. Once we’ve looked for it, we hold on to it, and we remember it.
Once upon a time, we’d sit down at 10pm to watch the day’s news unfold in half an hour from the comfort of our sofas. Now with the explosion of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and the like, no news is new news — we see it all day, every day.
How many of us would sit through the whole of Donald Trump’s inauguration day? Not many.
But ask us who wants to see him leap out of the Presidential limo leaving poor Melania in his wake, and there’d be a rush of hands. Social media distils news into bite-sized pieces and puts it in front of us all day, every day, at work and play, from BBC News’ Facebook posts to the most compelling stories tweeted directly from Sky News’ newsroom.
Whether you want to learn the latest hairdressing tricks or how to strip down a car engine, rid your laptop of a virus or learn how to waterski, online video tutorials are massive — and we all watch them, whether it’s through social media, or direct searches on smartphones or tablets.
Where once learning a new language, or studying for professional qualifications might have involved a time-consuming application form and a gruelling interview at university—not to mention the hours of classroom time — now, online learning is making education accessible to everyone.
From students in third-world countries striving for a better life to multi-national corporations training groups of workers, eLearning allows students of all ages and abilities to work towards their goals at their own pace, in their own time.
With new figures showing up to 75% of applicants apply for jobs they’re not qualified for, it might be time to boost your employability with an online course. If you know you need to improve your skill set but don’t know what eLearning course to enrol on, try this; study the “essential criteria” in the job spec for positions you might want to apply for, and make sure your skills are in line with them.
If you’re lacking in presentation skills, think it would be beneficial to learn a new language or update your knowledge of marketing, there’s an online course to help you land that dream job.
The numbers are growing every day as more and more industries develop cost-effective and engaging online learning solutions. According to BusinessWire, in the US alone, the market is predicted to reach $31bn in the next three years.