In celebration of Digital Learning Day, let us take a look at how far online learning has come – especially through all the trials and tribulations of the past 12 months.
Digital education has come a long way since its inception. When first introduced, over ten years ago, online education was not met with acclaim but with apprehension. That’s because most educators did not see its potential. They only saw its disruption, for example, teachers questioned their role in digital learning. Hence, digital education was not adapted quickly.
However, when the pandemic struck, we saw schools from tertiary institutions to K-12 schools incorporating online learning into their education system.
Necessity transformed online education from a secondary option into the primary driver of education, redirecting the trajectory of an industry that was badly hit by the pandemic (to say nothing of the death toll incurred).
Digital learning not only provides education a lifeline but also the means to improve the learning experience.
Lets dive deeper into the benefits of digital learning and how it enriches the education industry.
Benefits of digital learning
Online learning has helped online education in the following ways.
It adds digital simulations and models to the process
Digital simulations and models are now part of learning, adding an extra dimension to the process. In traditional classrooms, there was only one way for students to grasp concepts. If that method didn’t work for them, then they fell behind.
But, thanks to online learning systems, we can now incorporate simulations and models, ranging from graphs to more sophisticated simulations. Incorporating models into digital learning allows students to visualise concepts in ways that weren’t possible before.
The option to learn at this pace, allows students who may have struggled in normal classrooms to thrive under a different teaching method.
Refining research for projects and assignments
Research has been an integral part of education, especially when it comes to writing assignments. But, online learning adds an interesting twist to the process. Cloud storage and virtual learning platforms give students access to a limitless volume of information.
Students can draw from Google and resources set up on online learning platforms. This means writing assignments and research reports will be much easier. But, it is more than a question of research.
Since information is so readily available. The challenge is not about compiling facts and figures. Instead, students must refine their critical thinking and argumentative skills. The altered focus on research will encourage young students to think critically and form more coherent arguments, which is crucial for their personal and professional development.
Learning is now fun
Sometimes, the problem may not lie with the concept but in its execution. One example is teaching maths to kindergarteners. The concepts can be hard to understand but if these mathematical concepts are repackaged in a fun and engaging way, then it makes learning much easier.
Tablets, smartphones, and computers provide ample opportunity to make learning a more engaging experience. Gamifying concepts lighten the workload, making it easier for students to grasp these concepts. Essentially, digital learning makes learning a lighter and more flexible process.
Assessments are more effective than before
What is the best way to track student progress? An assessment helps but a grade does not tell the whole story. It does not encapsulate a student’s progress, demonstrate how far they have come, and how far they have yet to go. Conventional teaching methods make it difficult to capture progress with such detail. This is where digital learning technology holds a clear advantage over normal schooling. Online learning systems can chart the progress of students to help you plan for advancement in more detail to give students better feedback on their academic performance.
Online learning is paving the way forward
Digital education has revamped schooling and learning at a time when it is sorely needed. The pandemic forced the education industry to adapt to a new method of teaching and learning overnight. However, I believe that digital learning has changed the education industry for the better.