Can a mobile phone app today keep bad your grades away? For a long time phones have been the bane of class time for teachers, however, smartphones are being re-imagined by some educators as a positive presence in the classroom, calling them an “invaluable tool” for students, stating that smartphones are a way for students to conduct online research anytime, anywhere. Barring this fantastic functionality in mind, and given that mobile devices are already so ubiquitous, it makes less sense for teachers to fight against them than to dial up their potential as a modern-day school supply, in much the same way we saw the common classroom PC 15 years ago.

What drives most teachers mad is that they feel they are competing with these phones for attention, which is a losing battle, so why not work with them? Smartphones can provide access to lecture notes, classroom slides, videos used in presentations, textbook reading guides, class schedules and much more, which can be accessed both in and out of the school hours. By transforming the learning environment into a more active and engaging space, which admittedly takes some work and forward thinking on the educators part, schools are beginning to find students are transformed from passive learners into active learners, simply by using technology that a large percentage already have in their pockets.

The Independent’s Alom Shaha showcases some great reasons to give mobile devices a chance within the classroom here, from basic usage like calculators and stopwatches to recording notes to help students with their homework.

Technology is a tool, it’s up to us how we use it.