Why Digital Learning is Reshaping Education
Technology has changed just about every field, including education. Digital learning is reshaping education in unprecedented ways. The ways in which students learn are changing rapidly thanks to technology, and both students and teachers will benefit from it.
There are several specific changes that we can expect to see as digital learning takes over education. For one, the way teachers present information and how students work with that information has changed. Students are asked to be more hands-on and collaborative than ever before. There are also new skills that students must learn, such as digital literacy.
The Flipped Classroom
The traditional model of teachers lecturing in the classroom and students completing practice and homework on their own is changing. Instead, students are learning on their own and using the classroom as a place to dig more deeply into what they’ve learned. This model, known as the flipped classroom, is gaining popularity thanks to the rise of EdTech.
How does the flipped classroom work? Students watch lecture videos or complete readings at home. The following day in class, the teacher clarifies anything students didn’t understand. Students then work with the information to answer questions, complete projects, and do other activities that used to be reserved for homework.
The flipped classroom provides benefits for students and teachers alike. Teachers spend more time helping students with the content they don’t understand. This means more one-on-one help for students and less time listening to boring lectures in class.
Emphasis on Collaboration
Another change brought about by digital learning is a new emphasis on collaboration. Thanks to increased technology in the classroom, students able to collaborate online and work on projects together. With a flipped classroom model, teachers can spend less time lecturing and devote more time to collaborative activities and projects.
Technology has also created a more connected world, where everyone is reachable almost any time of day. Cloud-based apps, like Google’s Drive, allow students to share work and collaborate outside of school. Many teachers are already using social media or education apps to encourage students to communicate about class content or ask questions from home. As digital learning becomes more popular, this kind of after-hours collaboration will only increase.
More Higher-Order Thinking
Thanks to technology, students have instant access to all the information they could ever want or need. There’s no longer a need for students to memorize facts or dates. Today, there is much more emphasis placed on higher-order thinking.
Higher-order thinking occurs when students are asked not just to know a piece of information but to do something with that information. At the most basic level, this can mean analyzing information—comparing and contrasting, for example. At the highest level, students are asked to create something on their own that shows their understanding.
In nearly every classroom today, students are asked to do these types of higher-order thinking tasks. Gone are the days when teachers lectured and students regurgitated information for a quiz or test. Today’s students are learning how to be critical thinkers, a skill that is in-demand in today’s job market.
There are other skills that students will need to stay competitive in the 21st century. Digital literacy, the ability to use the internet and other digital technologies, is increasingly important for a wide variety of jobs. As technology becomes a bigger part of education, teachers will devote more time to teaching digital literacy.
In some states, digital literacy is already a part of the curriculum. More states are creating standards for digital literacy just as they would for reading or math.
These are just some of the ways that digital learning is reshaping education. As digital learning becomes a bigger part of the world of education, you can expect to see more changes in classrooms around the world.
How do you envison technology changing education?