Digital Learning Day: The Impact of Technology in The Classroom
The 21st century has been rightly described as the digital era. Mobile phones and tablets have become ubiquitous and they have become the playmates of today’s children. Consequently, it is imperative for the educational sector to evolve so as to make learning an interactive and engaging activity for the digital natives. With the spread of the internet, e-learning has made rapid inroads in the education sector, ensuring that people around the globe have access to education, no matter where they live.
Since 2012 Digital Learning Day has been celebrated on 27 February with an aim to actively spread innovative digital learning practices. Digital Learning Day promotes the effective use of modern-day technology to ensure a better learning experience for the K–12 sector. It has become the ideal platform for leaders in education to showcase innovative practices and methods. What began once as a grassroots effort has now grown into a massive celebration with the realisation that Digital Learning Day is not just about technology, but also about learning, or to be more apt, about the right use of technology to ensure better learning outcomes.
What does digital learning encompass?
Digital learning can be defined as learning that makes effective use of technology. This includes the application of a wide spectrum of practices, including blended and virtual learning. Schools around the world are adopting smart teaching techniques, thereby bringing about drastic changes in the global education system. The use of LCD screens, projectors etc., is now commonplace even for the pre-primary classes, taking K–12 education beyond the traditional methods of teaching.
Although it is a departure from traditional methods of teaching, digital learning is not meant to displace teachers from their jobs as many mistakenly perceive. Rather, it empowers the teachers by equipping them with a wide array of solutions to help make learning more meaningful and effective. In addition to this, digital learning also allows teachers to increase their own efficiency and productivity.
With the help of digital tools, learning is no longer restricted to the four walls of a classroom. Apart from this, the innovations in technology have also made learning more personalised, designed to cater to the individual needs of each child. Digital tools have also made education more fun and interesting through innovative augmented and virtual reality products as well as through gamification.
Let us take a look at a few of the novel learning methods that have been made possible with the help of digital learning tools.
As the name suggests, blended learning involves a blending of traditional classroom methods with online learning tools. Smart classroom solutions such as TeachNext allow the teacher to conduct a class with the help of engaging and interactive video content to create a more immersive learning environment.
It is also a type of blended learning that flips the traditional learning practices. Through this method, the students are introduced to concepts before they attend lectures in the classroom. With the help of teacher management tools such as NextLMS, teachers can share videos, recorded lectures, articles, PPTs etc., with students. This process, which involves initial learning, helps students to learn at their own pace and aids in removing the monotony of lectures, converting the classroom into a place of discussion.
Gamification of learning involves creating an incentive for the students to learn using various gaming components. Implementing game-based learning is a decisive step towards transforming the overall approach to education. It negates the idea that learning should be devoid of fun and allows learners to collect points, level up, take part in competitions and learn through the processes. The Robotics Lab introduced by Next Education is a great example of gamification of learning. The lab curriculum is integrated with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning, enabling students to have fun while learning.
Instead of the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, adaptive learning provides an alternative individual path where learning depends on how much a student already knows or what they need to know and the amount of time they need to invest in comprehending particular concepts or chapters. The learning is guided at every level by necessary remediation and is eventually directed towards a student’s mastery of the content. This has been made possible with the help of advanced technological tools that enable teachers to customise the learning content as per students’ learning styles – visual, auditory, linguistic and kinaesthetic. With the help of assessment tools such as Next Review, teachers can identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses, attention and retention attributes with precision, and then propose corrective measures for the areas that need improvement.
Digital learning plays a huge role in making quality education accessible and affordable for learners. They have become a teacher’s aid in facilitating better learning practices and discouraging rote learning. The incorporation of gamified learning methods, adaptive learning, etc. leads to greater fulfilment as well as efficiency and effectiveness for students.