Technology impacts every aspect of our daily operations, and education is no exception. For some good reasons, technology has profoundly changed the education system. Earlier before the internet, access to information was minimal. For instance, one had to visit the library for academic resources. Very few individuals could have access to needed educational resources.
But now, that’s isn’t the case. With the advancement in technology and digital learning technology, a massive amount of educational information is available at one’s fingerprint via the internet.
In this article, we will discuss how technology and digital learning are making education and learning unprecedented in scope. But first, let’s understand what digital learning entails.
What is digital learning?
Digital learning is facilitated or controlled by technology and gives learners control over place, time and even pace of studying.
This is what I mean by learner having power over;
Time– it implies that learners are not restricted to the traditional school days or years as learning resources are available on the internet.
Place– unlike traditional schooling, where learning is within the room walls. Digital learning is never restricted to a classroom as the internet proliferation gives learners the control of anywhere, everywhere access of information.
Path and pace– with digital learning, learners don’t have to learn at the teachers’ or other students’ speed. Meaning, learners can learn at their own pace and style through interactive and adaptive software. Thus, more personal and engaging learning where learners would spend more or less time on classes depends on their understanding levels.
Digital learning requires a combination of:
• Technology (tool used)- internet, laptops/smartphones,
• Digital content- academic resources delivered through technology
• Instructions- educators who provide personal guidance and assistance to learners
• Here are some of the technological advancements that have facilitated digital learning
• Introduction of Learning Management Systems (LMSs) – is an application that helps course material and even track student’s examinations progress thus bridges distant interaction.
• Availability of collaborative tools such as wilder and socrative- such tools help virtualize content by incorporating videos and audio or images.
• Digital simulations- Simulations are the dynamic representations that allow learners to form, create or form mental images via experimentations.
• Assistive technology- are devices that help learners think and learn differently by improving and maintaining the functional capabilities of students with learning and physical disabilities.
Availability of productive online tools- resources that help improve learners’ and instructor’s productivity. They include internet, online examination software which saves time and money.
Now, let’s find out how significant digital learning is to the education sector.
Impacts of digital learning on education
Facilitates 24-hour resources with flexible choices
As mentioned earlier, digital learning gives learners power over time. Meaning educators can access whatever content they need anytime.
Better still, learners aren’t restricted to specific times of classes. They can study any time they feel they can have their complete focus.
And most importantly, learners are never worried about library closing hours or lesson ending without getting enough information. With the internet available, they’ll always have 24 hours resources with flexible choices to boost their learning.
For instance, the learners may choose to listen and watch recorded content or even read textual and image information.
Just at a fingerprint touch on the internet, learners would have any time to access any material to facilitate their education.
Enhances self-directed study
Unlike in the traditional setup of education, with fixed schedules for specific lessons under the guidance of a teacher, digital learning allows students to learn away from their classes.
And how’s this important?
With digital learning, students can make an active decision when to study without being directed by some regular timetable like in traditional schooling. But, of course, they can still have plenty of contact with their instructors.
During the self-directed study time, learners can take the chance to identify things they aren’t good at or areas where they need to work a little more complicated. This, in turn, would help improve their performance.
Better still, taking charge of their education would give learners some sense of empowerment and confidence to do better.
Boosts tracked progress
Sure, every teacher would want to know their students’ progress, and even you as a learner would love to identify your strengths and weaknesses. That’s where digital learning comes in handy.
Digital learning would not only help learners identify their capabilities, but it would also enable instructors to track their students’ performances. Through the examination software, teachers would be accessing the students’ online records of work, real-time testing and help monitor their engagements.
Increased exposure to education technology
There were times when laptops were mainly used by some learners in the information technology field. But, with digital learning that demands online access to educational content, every educational stakeholder has to know some basics of handling some technologies.
And that means every individual in the education sector must get some familiarity with technology.
Ensures connected learning
Although learners may be physically distanced from their instructors and fellow students, digital learning through software like zooms and instant messaging platforms makes them a connected community. Meaning learners can find answers instantly through emails or chat software.
Digital learning through technological advancement is transforming the education system in several ways. It makes it easier for both the teachers and learners to access or create instructional content, self-directed study with 24-hour available resources and enabling tracked educational progress.