Education apps for the digital age

This is the first time in recent history where children work, play and learn entirely differently from their parents. Technology seems as important to many of them as air, food and water. Having more access to a wider range of people living and working in their own way via platforms such as YouTube and Instagram is inspiring young people to dream big. This generation is known as Generation Z, anyone born between 1995 and 2012.

13% of ‘Generation Z’ already have their own business

A row of hands holding smart phones

According to eCampus News, many students are taking an entrepreneurial approach to various areas of their lives including expressing their thoughts on curriculum and educational change. For those who haven’t started their own company (13% have already started one) it is said that 22% of them would like to start their own business, with most seeking a role that makes their hobby their job.

The love of technology and social media platforms could be creating a change in the way the brain works with a need for more instant gratification, altering how students may focus and their levels of productivity throughout their education.

One size does not fit all

It could be said we are seeing a new generation, the digital generation, of learners for who didactic learning experiences might not be effective. As we all know - one size does not fit all. Perhaps we need to look at the DNA of education, think differently about ability and embrace the benefits of group work, creativity and technology.

The average attention span of ‘gen z’ learners is 8 seconds

According to research from Sparks & Honey, minds are developing to be able to process information at a much quicker pace than older generations that preceded them, with more things vying for our attention these days we all may increasingly struggle to stay focused. With this in mind making steps to support students with attention impairments could translate directly to the needs of every student.

Education needs to be tailored to each individual’s needs and technology can allow this freedom - that’s where AbilityNet’s technology expertise can help.

“Everybody is a genius. If we judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein

Animated picture of Albert Einstein

So, how do we keep up with these evolutionary changes? Luckily, you’re looking in the right place…these learning tools already exist, it’s just knowing where to go to get them. Having championed these ideas with our AbilityNet expert, Adam Tweed, we’ve put together some of our top tips for supporting focus and concentration in education.

1. Clockwork tomato - Clockwork Tomato is a time management application, based on the brilliant ‘Pomodoro technique’, a method that boosts productivity by breaking down work periods into 25-minute slices, separated by short breaks. Great for keeping your mind focused on your tasks and not on that important coffee break.

2. Coffitivity – Do you work best with background noise? The Coffitivity app is a clever way to help you to be more productive with your work and it is such a simple idea. This app recreates ambient sounds to boost your creativity and help you work better.

3. Forest - This app creatively helps you stay away from your smartphone and stay focused on your work. You plant a seed and lock your phone and watch as the tree grows. If you use your phone the trees die (it’s ever so sad). Users can earn credits by not using their phone and plant real trees around the world!

Don't forget, if you are you working in Higher or Further Education we offer free advice and information to students and advisors. Why not learn more about these apps and keep your staff and students up to date with one of our ‘Interactive tech days for Education’. Find out more about these events here. 

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