Digital education has introduced a new dimension of education which is fast, smart and modern. It facilitates a unique way of learning for students. Digital learning combines the usage of laptops, tablets, electronic gadgets, online sites, applications and software and modern technology for educating students. Implementation of the digital education system in classrooms enhances students’ learning and encourages interaction.
A 2016 report by a management consulting firm states that India’s education market is valued at $100 billion currently while the digital learning market is estimated at $2 billion.
Realising the power of digital technology, the awareness and accessibility of digital learning are growing across India. Initiatives are being taken to give access to digital learning to students across the nation, especially in the rural areas where there are inadequate facilities and less number of quality teachers. The motive behind such initiatives is to bridge the gap between education in urban and the rural areas and provide equal digital learning opportunities to children from all background.
How important is the digital education for students?
The advent of technology in schools has empowered teachers and contributed to making schools more effective digitally.
- Computers, the internet, e-learning, online courses, smartphones and whiteboards are some of the digital tools that play an important role in the transformation of schools. Encouraging digital education in schools, colleges and institutions improve a range of skills in students, including visual learning skills.
- Students are able to research on their own and they work in teams.
- They can select topics of their choice and find the content they like.
- The motor skills, decision-making skills and the ability to learn independently in students improve.
- Through digital learning, students are able to learn quickly and retain the information for long.
- The pooling of the collective skills helps during the time of employment.
The inclusion of whiteboards and digital tools in classrooms have brought significant improvement in the entire education sector. Following are some benefits that are hard to miss:-
Benefits of digital classrooms for students
- Creates an Interactive Environment – Digital education in classroom employs learning through videos, presentations and various types of pictorial representations. Students not only listen to the information but also view it. The combination of audio and visual learning simplifies the processing and grasping of information. Resultantly, the classroom teachings become more fun, interactive and student-centric. It enhances the metacognitive skills of students. They can learn how to effectively utilise additional tools for their learning.
- Improves Attentive Span – Digital tools and interactive sessions require the full involvement of students. Online presentations and interactive digital sessions make students attentive. They concentrate as learning becomes interesting. Being attentive in class triggers creativity and fresh ways of learning. Interestingly, using electronic gadgets like laptops and tablets, in place of pen and paper enable the students to complete the tasks quickly.
- Builds Vocabulary – Active online learning develops students’ with their language skills. Through audio-visual teaching, learning becomes flexible and fast. Besides expanding the vocabulary of students, interactive learning makes them perfect with their pronunciations.
- Promotes Immediate Feedback Response – As digital education is interactive and fast, the learning and understanding process happens at the same time. Therefore, it becomes easy for teachers to give immediate feedback and enhance the learning process of students.
Benefits of digital classrooms for teachers
- Simplicity in preparing lesson plans – Interactive whiteboards and online sessions assist teachers to easily organise structured lesson plans. Moreover, when teachers present matching pictures and materials collected online, delivering information in the classroom is simplified. It enables the quick revision of lessons. By using whiteboards in classrooms, teachers notice an improved understanding, learning and performance in students.
- Individualised teaching – The learning capacity of each and every student is different. Some learn quickly by listening to an audio (audio learners), while some learn through seeing a text or an image (visual learners). Teachers can identify and teach every student as per his/her capacity to learn.
Interactive whiteboards have opened the avenue of learning for every student.
Why are whiteboards needed in classrooms?
When it comes to whiteboards, the possibilities of learning are endless. It ensures the inclusion of each and every student. Digital classrooms complement the unique learning needs of different types of learners. Moreover, students who suffer from a hearing impairment can learn by looking at visual images and the students who suffer from a complete or partial visual impairment can learn by listening to audio. Teachers, on the other hand, get equipped with tools to prepare individual learning programs.
‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’ –Benjamin Franklin
The quote rightly addresses the fact that a high involvement of learners improves their absorption of information. Similarly, while using digital technology, students become more involved in the learning process. The active learning in classrooms boosts performance and helps in retaining information. Moreover, digital learning adopted from early grades prepares students for future challenges.
What has been the impact of digital learning in classrooms?
- The effective use of digital technology and interactive whiteboards have helped increase student attention and simultaneously reduced school dropouts.
- It has also opened new vistas for students to communicate with the students of other countries.
- Facilities like video conferencing have helped the young minds to expand their global exposure and learn foreign languages with ease.
- Through online courses, students are able to go beyond boundaries and learn any subject they want.
- The scope of learning anytime and from anywhere has led to an entire world of opportunities for students. Interestingly, students who make effective use of technology are more likely to perform well.
Wrapping it up
With endless opportunities of learning through the digital medium, how students utilise digital technology is a concern. In the growing digital learning environment, the need for students to be safe online is a must.
Hence, to ensure that students are safe on the internet, students shall be taught to protect their personal information which includes their account passwords. For teaching them online safety while exploring the web, separate sessions dedicated to e-safety should be included as an important part of students’ education.
In today’s world, technology has become the third fundamental pillar in the classroom after content and pedagogy. If used correctly, the intervention of technology makes learning more interactive and meaningful. It helps the young minds to hone skills that are invaluable in the rapidly changing world.