How is digital technology changing education? An easier question to answer perhaps is: How is digital technology not changing education. Read more to learn about how digital technology is revolutionizing the face of schools and education on a global scale.
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- Availability of Online Classes and Programs: One of the first easy observations regarding digital technology and education is that online schools and classes are becoming widely available. Even free online classes called “MOOC’s” otherwise known as Massive Open Online Courses are becoming widely popular. Online courses and full online programs are making it possible for learners young and old to unite from all over the world at any given moment, and to have easy access to a course or program from home.
- Learnings Texts Are Now Digitalized: Check the backpack of many high school and college students, and you will find that physicals textbooks are slowly being replaced with iPads and various forms of devices connected to online media. With the fast-paced development of online media, e-books, e-readers, and learning programs developed for iPads, iPhones, and smartphones, the textbook is becoming “extinct” in some areas. You can forget the time when your backpack was loaded down with a stack of textbooks, because learning is going online.
- Mobile Learning: A combination of the result of the sharp and sudden increase in the availability of online courses and programs, and the wide availability of online resources and books, you can now study from your phone. MOOC’s such as the well-known “Future Learn” MOOC allow you to access your course(s) from your smartphone. Just open the course, plug in your headphones, and follow the content and the classroom discussions! Whether you are riding the subway or taking a bus or a train you can instantly connect to the world full of learners and learning.
- Personalized Teaching and Learning: Due to the increase in the presence of technology in the classroom, teachers now have more ability to personalize lessons, instructions, and projects for each group or child. By using devices and programs to distribute classwork and assignments, teachers can personalize lessons and focus on the work of each student. Individualized lessons can be provided to each student, and learning tools enable students to work, perform, and excel at their own pace. Teachers can also now provide feedback, grades, and reports directly to students through online platforms, and online school portals and log-ins.
- Guidance and Instruction from Diverse Teachers: The increase of digital technology has also affected the availability and access to diverse teachers and instructors for students worldwide. One student can be present in a multi-cultural online classroom with teachers with origins from South Africa, England, Brazil, Spain, Russia, and Poland all at the same time. Teachers from different backgrounds and countries all bring their own unique perspectives, cultures, and languages to the table of learning.
- Collaboration and Peer-to-Peer Learning in the Classroom: With an increase in access to online learning, whether part or full instruction is provided online, increased opportunities for students to collaborate together from a variety of places becomes possible. Student bodies, in turn, can be made up of students from all over the globe, with every continent represented. Diverse student bodies also increase diversity in ways of thinking and contributions to class discussions and projects. Inside and outside the classroom students can work together through online platforms and portals to exchange ideas. Students can express ideas and communicate through programs provided by their schools, and also informally through social media programs such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Peer-to-Peer learning has become increasingly popular as students share their ideas with each other through online discussions and share documents through programs such as Google Docs. Teachers are encouraging and setting up classrooms that inspire and sometimes require peer-to-peer discussions
- Data Driven Instructions and Results: Another change that is occurring due to the rise of digital technology is the increase in data-driven instruction and results. Although some teachers are being forced to use online grading tools and devices, analysis tools are also becoming more precise. These devices and grading tools can provide more accurate results regarding student performance, but can also result in a teacher’s limited ability to judge a student’s performance based on the content of their writing, classroom performance, and other contributions.
What Does the Increase in Digital Technology Mean for the Future?
The increase in digital technology corresponds with the increase in the use of technology in both virtual and real-life classrooms. Although many advantages come with digitalized learning, there are also disadvantages that you should be aware of, including and not limited to minimal to zero face-to-face interaction in the classroom, and the lack of ability to work in person with your study partners and your teacher. Despite these disadvantages, overall digital technology has enhanced the future of learning and has enabled students and educators alike from all over the world to work together, spread knowledge, and increase learning opportunities for everyone.