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BENEFITS OF DIGITAL LEARNING OVER TRADITIONAL EDUCATION METHODS
According to Panworld Education (2017) study:
Digital learning is replacing traditional educational methods more and more each day. With how rapidly classrooms are changing, it is best to forget methods you may remember from when you were in school and start thinking about newer teaching and learning techniques based on digital learning tools and technologies. The inclusion of digital learning in the classrooms can vary from simply using tablets instead of paper to using elaborate software programs and equipment as opposed to the simple pen.
This could entail using sites, services, programs, teaching tools, and technologies like study aids built for at-home use. Even social networks and communications platforms can be used to create and manage digital assignments and agendas. Irrespective of how much technology is integrated into the classroom, digital learning has come to play a crucial role in education. It empowers students by getting them to be more interested in learning and expanding their horizons. Here is how digital learning is a step up from traditional education methods.
Digital Learning Makes Students Smarter
Learning tools and technology enable students to develop effective self-directed learning skills. They are able to identify what they need to learn, find and use online resources, apply the information on the problem at hand, and even evaluate resultant feedback. This increases their efficiency and productivity. In addition to engaging students, digital learning tools and technology sharpen critical thinking skills, which are the basis for the development of analytic reasoning. Children who explore open-ended questions with imagination and logic learn how to make decisions, as opposed to just temporarily memorizing the textbook.
Educational tools by Young Digital Planet such as Bingiel teach children how to collaborate and work successfully in groups. This is typically done through gamification. Gamification is a great feature of interactive learning because it teaches children playing in a group to depend on and trust each other in order to win a game or achieve their goals. They also promote cooperation and teamwork which are very important skills, in every aspect of life.
Interactive social skill games are excellent learning tools that teach children discipline because playing games requires children to follow rules and guidelines in order to participate. Even children who might grow frustrated with other learning methods may stick with games longer because playing itself is rewarding. This ends up helping them develop patience, another useful life skill.
Children also develop positive feelings of accomplishment from mastering new knowledge and skills using digitized learning tools giving them the confidence they need to want to learn even more new things. It is commendable that millions of courses by the best educators are available for free to anyone with an internet connection. The possibilities are endless.
Digital Learning Is Making Students Self-Motivated and More Accountable
Students using digital learning tools and technology become more engaged in the process and more interested in growing their knowledge base, they may not even realize that they’re actively learning since they’re learning through engaging methods such as peer education, teamwork, problem-solving, reverse teaching, concept maps, gamification, staging, role playing, and storytelling.
Since digital learning is far more interactive and memorable than voluminous textbooks or one-sided lectures, they provide better context, a greater sense of perspective, and more engaging activities than traditional education methods. This allows students to better connect with the learning material. Further, they often offer a more interesting and involving way to digest information. This is reflected in their retention rates and test scores. Also, when students can track their own progress it can improve motivation and accountability.
Digital Learning Tools Involve Educators and Parents to a Deeper Extent
Learning tools and technologies like social learning platforms make it easy for teachers to create and manage groups. The shift to digital learning can approximate the benefits of tutoring while freeing up time for teachers to address individual and small group needs. The opportunity to customize learning sequences for each student will make education more productive by closing learning gaps sooner and accelerating progress. Dynamic grouping, workshops, and project-based learning can add lots of collaborative learning to the already present education model.
Apart from educators, parents can use interactive activities to encourage their child’s interest in learning since gamification makes the process much more enjoyable and interesting. Parents can also explore online learning activities with their child which can serve as an extension to what they are learning in their classrooms. Digital learning tools and technology provide enjoyment for kids as well as numerous benefits in terms of developing a child’s well-being. Everyone benefits with the digitization of learning.
Digital Learning Tools and Technology Is Rapidly Increasing Information Sharing
In recent years, the shift from print to digital has impacted how we learn. Just as printing press did six centuries ago, this transition is transforming formal education and increasing learning opportunities. Digital learning is not only allowing students to access more and more information but also ensuring that the information in question is customizable and suited to their personal needs. The opportunity to help every student learn at the best pace and path for them is the most important benefit of digital learning.
Digital learning tools and technology enable educators to rapidly share information with other educators in real-time. The explosion of free and open content and tools has created an environment of sharing economy. By embracing digital devices and connected learning, classrooms around the country and around the globe can not only coordinate with one another to share insights but also boost learning, experience, and communications skills. The practice also allows educators to enjoy a level playing field. Schools can save money while ensuring equitable access to educational material as expensive private schools.
Increasing Students’ Employability with Digital Learning Tools and Technology
Equipping students with the requirements of higher education and holding a career at a young age has become one of the most crucial responsibilities of school education. Digital learning solutions based on problem-based learning emphasize on learning methods that are constructive, collaborative and calls the students’ attention to a real-world approach to learning.
With the ongoing employment crisis in the MENA region, it is crucial that if young people are unable to find jobs, they should have the ability to create their own and ideally even generate jobs for others. For this purpose, newer methods of learning and education need to be incorporated into the school curriculums, starting right from elementary school. Digital learning tools and technology in elementary, secondary, and high schools prepares students for higher education and modern careers by helping them acquire skills including problem-solving, familiarity with emerging technologies, and self-motivation.
Traditional Education Methods Have To Be Replaced
Traditional lectures may still exist along with the new-age learning tools and technology, but the lecture materials should be provided as a supplement to classroom activities and moved online for students to reference outside of the classroom. Classroom time is better used for discussing the curriculum, engaging in activities with teams and completing class projects. Students often have the option to pace their learning and even study ahead with a digital learning tool if they wish to do so. By helping children think outside their typical learning modes, digital learning inspires creativity and lets children feel a sense of accomplishment that encourages further learning.
Digital learning tools and technology fill the gaps where traditional classroom teaching falls behind. In fact, some of the efficiencies such tools bring are simply unmatchable by traditional learning techniques. From the environmental impact recognized by the need for less paper for handouts and books to saving time with quick access to information and the ease of research, digital learning provides an effective way to cut costs, maximize resources and heighten both reach and impact for students and educators alike.
Panworld Education (2017, March 23).Benefits of digital learning over traditional education methods.
What will the student experience look like in 2030?
According to Munoz (2019):
Here's how technology will evolve the student experience over the next 13 years.
The student experience has evolved a lot over the last two decades, transitioning from a static, one way teaching model where the teacher instructs a group of students with the same materials at the same pace, to one that is much more interactive, social and mobile. But what will it look like in 2030?
As technology continues to play a big role in this shift, we’ve taken a look at how the student experience will evolve even further over the next 13 years:
Mobile will trump traditional learning
Mobile and social platforms have transformed the world, and over the last few years we have seen them have a growing impact on the education sector. Young people are notorious for being attached to their mobile devices, using them to communicate, socialise, and more recently, study. Indeed, a recent report from the YMCA Awards revealed that almost half of students are using smartphones to assist them when learning.
Young people are the most technologically sophisticated and socially-conscious generation in history, with 2.5 million 13-17 year olds using Facebook in the UK, while 39 percent of Instagram users are aged between 16-24, and Snapchat – renowned for dominating the youth – saw its active users double from 100 million to 200 million in 2016. Today’s students have an entirely different world view to previous generations, having grown up in a world full of choice and limitless options. They have high expectations, demanding fast, easy access to content wherever they are. Over the next few years these expectations will increase.
By 2030, it will be the norm for students to have the flexibility to read, interact and engage in learning activities on-the-go. Having access to a fully equipped learning management system (LMS) on any mobile device will undoubtedly transform how and when students consume content. Mobile learning will enable students to visualise their workload, stay on top of deadlines, keep up with discussions, and read course notifications wherever they are from their own smartphone or tablet. Their learning materials will be in the palm of their hands.
We will also see them learning via platforms they are accustomed to, such as Twitter and Facebook. Indeed, features of social media will spill into the classroom over the next decade, creating a bigger gap between the traditional way of learning and delivering training via the digital tools and devices students expect.
Gaming will go up a gear
The growth of mobile technology within education will also enable a much more interactive, gamified learning experience; something that is already becoming recognised as an important part of modern-day learning. Students like the virtual and interactive learning environment that complements their digital skills, recognise them for getting an answer right and adds an element of competitiveness. Features such as quizzing and badges are starting to enter the classroom, but by 2030 they will form an integral part of education and the curriculum at all levels.
Gamification will add a more creative, dynamic element to learning. By offering students the opportunity to take quizzes on their mobile devices when they’re away from the classroom, teachers will be able to see their responses in real-time, giving them the flexibility to assess progress and adapt their learning there and then. These activities have the potential to turn an otherwise routine learning exercise into an imaginative activity that will motivate students to work harder and provide teachers with valuable insight into student performance.
Video learning will be the norm
Modern-day learning has already started to involve students watching lectures on their phone, tablet or laptop when they’re at home, moving the traditional “classroom” into out-of-hours. Through the use of technology, classrooms will become increasingly “flipped”, reversing the learning environment by delivering content that teachers would have previously shared in the classroom online and bringing activities often associated with homework into the classroom.
This will take off in the lead up to 2030 and will lead to a much more flexible, collaborative and interactive environment. We will increasingly see teachers and students communicate via video, with teachers presenting lessons online with the aim of actively discussing what was taught when in the classroom. Video-sharing websites, such as YouTube, also offer an array of educational videos which students will begin to rely on when learning. In fact, a report by Childwise last year revealed that half of all 5-16 years olds watch video clips on YouTube each day. It’s a platform that young people use to connect with others, access news and have fun, and learning will be no exception in 2030.
Over the next 10-15 years we will see huge transformations in education which will largely be driven by student demands and advancements in technology. The classroom, whilst still important, will be complemented heavily by mobile and video learning as students increasingly seek to consume and access learning materials on their own terms and on the devices they are familiar with. The use of gaming and online rewards will also no longer be seen as optional or nice to have, it will be a requisite for any school or university wanting to attract and engage with new students.
As the education sector evolves, it’ll be interesting to come back in 2030 and see how many of my predictions have come true.
Munoz, S. (2019, May 8). What will the student experience look like in 2030?
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