Educational apps getting popular among students
18 Apr 2017 - 2:26
By Irfan Bukhari / The Peninsula
With the fast developing digital technology, educational apps are becoming increasingly popular among students in Qatar, reducing their dependence on private tuition, to some extent.
While many parents consider them as a useful mode to replace the costly private tuition, teachers are skeptical about these digital solutions and insist that nothing could become a substitute to one-to-one learning.
“BYJU’s – The Learning App” is a free education app popular among Indian expatriate students which covers the Indian CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) syllabus. The app offers video lessons designed by Indian teachers among other features.
“Yes these learning apps are helpful. At least by taking help from these apps, we can get rid of tuition classes for my children which had otherwise become an extra financial burden on my family,” said Himal, an Indian parent.
BYJU’s – The Learning App with more than five million and master all concepts right from High School Foundation Class 4-12 math and science to competitive exam preparation lik JEE, AIPMT, CAT, GRE, GMAT and IAS. Special modules on ICSE, CBSE; sample papers for class 7-10 students and AIPMT, IITJEE coaching for class 11-12 students.”
“Khan Academy” is another free study app very popular among Asian expatriates. With over one million downloads, Khan Academy introduces the product saying: “Over 40,000 interactive common core aligned practice questions are included with instant feedback and step-by-step hints. Follow along with what you are learning in school or practice at your own pace.”
A K Srivastava, Principal of Birla Public School, thinks that the actual problem was the fact that children had lost the habit of hard work and were looking for easy alternatives. He thinks apps cannot replace teachers. “I have not seen any student achieving anything just using learning apps,” he observed.
Commenting on the issue, Riayz Ahmed Bakali, Director of TNG School, said that those apps were being used by students because they were helpful to some extent. “Definitely, they are not a substitute for learning in classrooms as nothing could replace one-to-one learning methods but students can take help from such apps instead of opting for extra tuition,” he noted.
Mohammed Minaj, a student of grade 7, said that he was taking help from education apps for some years as his family could not afford the cost of extra coaching or private tuition. “They help a lot but definitely cannot compete with classroom learning. But students can use them when they do not have other affordable options," said Minaj.
Apart from these commercial study apps targeting Asian expatriates, there exist some standard education and learning apps which are also popular among children in Qatar. These apps particularly focus on language skills like English language learning apps of the British Council.
Learning Time with Timmy, LearnEnglish Kids: Phonics Stories, LeranEnglish Kids: Playtime, LearnEnglish Kids: Videos, Johnny Grammar’s Word Challenge, Premier Skills are some very popular English language learning apps introduced by the British Council. Most of them are free while others can be purchased at affordable price.
Two years ago, Ooredoo launched “Lamsa”, an educational app for children that aims to address the needs of Arabic-speaking kids through entertainment, education, and interactivity. The first-of-its-kind application is designed for pre-school kids up to six years old, and can be enjoyed by children as young as 2-3 years, offering a collection of interactive stories, a wide range of entertainment content, colouring, rhymes, and games.