The role of digital learning in modern education
Looking at the pros and cons of digital learning in the educational sector.
Once upon a time, teachers taught with blackboards and then came the era of whiteboards and the unending problems of refilling ink. Technology has introduced the era of electronic boards, projectors, and online learning platforms, making teaching and learning more fun and interactive. The educational sector will never remain the same again!
As beneficial as technology is to the educational sector, many still worry about its risks and consequences on the side of students. With the debate more pressing than ever, as school curricular gradually shift towards technology, teachers and education enthusiasts are looking out for new, fun and interactive teaching methods to adopt. Using technology is not only fun but engaging as more and more young adults are already familiar with most of the tools. However, others argue that introducing these new methods will distract students and encourage examination malpractices.
Traditional learning is dying out very fast having to deal with a technology-savvy generation and all the distraction that comes with it. It is either we try to deal with the cons and work on the pros to improve learning engagement.
In the era of books, there was a limit to how much information through books the whole school might be able to stock in libraries and classrooms. How many books can the teacher's desk contain? But with the advent of digital Learning, a small flash drive, a computer or even the electronic board with internet access breeds an infinite amount of knowledge and information.
Digital learning encourages active learning in classrooms via online polling, quiz, brainteasers, mini insta projects and more during learning hours. The subject matter is dynamic and timely with digital textbooks that embed links with relevant materials on various subjects and courses. These tools also help equip and upgrade the students learning capabilities.
Hands-on practice are another way of optimizing the learning capabilities of the students. Creative students get the chance to publish their work within the walls of the school and also share them globally while filtering and choosing their audience. This increases motivation amongst students, making learning and self-improvement fun.
Digital learning makes it possible for students from anywhere in the world to connect, network, interact and share ideas. An example is the Empatico platform that allows for cross-cultural exchange.
Notes and assignments can take up so much time and space but having them automated will save time and all the tedious, energy-consuming tasks like keeping attendants, grading of students, assignments, and projects. Also passing out fresh information becomes easy for teachers to pass and for students to access them.
The whole process of test and examination has been revolutionized. Exams and tests can be taken electronically with feedbacks given immediately, reducing the workload of teachers in the areas of grading. In fact report of examination, outcomes can be available online in such a way that parents can get almost immediate feedback without necessarily visiting the school.
Digital learning makes the teaching and learning of languages more effective as language study can be enhanced with audio and visual gadgets, videos of proficient models, a sound lab, etc.
The use of technology in classrooms is a huge distraction.
One of the negative downsides however of digital learning is the fact that this technology might shrink and even make disappear the jobs of teachers as technology replaces human beings. This might help the school save cost, but keep teachers out of jobs.
Many are concerned about the side effects of technology on the lives of young adults in terms of social interaction and discouraging the culture of verbal communication. If we depend only on technological tools in classrooms and not mix it up with traditional methods like oral presentation and group learning, students may face both learning and social problems.
Technology, as everybody knows, fosters a variety of nuisance and in the case of education, malpractices are inevitable. With the introduction of technology, this will make students lazy enough to find incredible ways of cheating in projects and assignments diminishing their learning capabilities, hence hindering their academic development.
The truth is, technology is here to stay and there's nothing we can do about that. Knowing the fact that there are consequences in using technology in schools, we must also try to find ways to use them to our advantage.
Technology is not here to replace teachers, there will always be teachers and the idea of the use of technology is to create a flexible learning environment conducive for students that inspire innovation.