Flexible, interesting, and inspiring learning opportunities are available to students who can access course materials and communicate and collaborate with instructors and classmates in an online setting. There is more opportunity for engaging, individualized, and self-directed study thanks to digital education, which can increase access to education for underserved populations.
Advantages of Digital Education
1) Personalised learning
Individualized instruction is what makes personalised learning so effective. It may be related to the tempo, the subject matter, or the method of presentation. It acknowledges the fact that there is no universally effective approach to education. After all, each student will have their own preferred learning style and pace. They will have different requirements and will react differently to various forms of communication.
Personal learning experiences are best served by a virtual learning environment. “vast majorities” of teachers agree that data and digital tools are “improving teaching through differentiation and personalization,” per a study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Each student can develop their own unique learning route within a modern learning platform. If a student is having trouble with a particular concept, for instance, the system can automatically provide them with supplementary materials to help them catch up. If another student already has a solid grasp of the material, they likely won’t benefit from any additional coverage of the topic and can instead focus their efforts elsewhere. By tailoring lessons to each student, teachers can better address their needs and improve performance.
By drawing on models already familiar to tech users, gamification can provide more effective and enjoyable educational opportunities. Many students will already be familiar with the simple digital tools used in gaming; these can be integrated into the design of the course to motivate students through rewards and immediate feedback.
Education can benefit from a number of strategies inspired by the game design paradigm. Awarding merit badges and accumulating points are two examples. Students will make progress on a regular basis, and rewarding their efforts will encourage them to keep going. When students have a clear path laid out for them and are recognised for completing significant assignments, they have something to work toward.
Rewarding positive learning behaviours like discussion and independent research, as well as test scores, is possible in a games-based learning environment.
3) Self-directed learning
Independent study skills are becoming increasingly important as students advance in their studies. The ability to plan one’s own schedule, find relevant information, and take charge of one’s education is what this term refers to.
They will learn more about their own learning styles and optimal times of day as they progress. As a result, they will be better able to plan out how to spend their study time efficiently. This could mean studying first thing in the morning or later in the day for different people.
The ability to take charge of a situation, schedule it in a way that allows you to give it your full attention, and achieve the best possible results is a crucial asset in any line of work. Students will benefit greatly in the working world from having a better grasp on time management.
Each student’s educational experience is unique, and a digital learning platform is the perfect way to organise and structure that journey. Course schedules, time commitments, and future plans can all be accessed and mapped out in this central location.
4) Easier to access
Students who would otherwise have a hard time getting an education now have another option thanks to online learning. Studying from home is especially convenient for students living in remote areas with limited access to public transportation. Similarly, students who must balance schoolwork with work, caring for relatives, or other commitments will value flexibility in course scheduling.
Everyone should have access to education, but not everyone can study at the same time or in the same place. Distance between students and teachers is no longer a barrier thanks to online learning. When a student is unable to physically attend a school of higher education, they still have access to all of the necessary course materials through the online learning platform.
The online learning environment facilitates discussion boards, tutorials, and feedback, allowing for high levels of interactivity and collaboration regardless of whether learning is conducted entirely online or in a hybrid format.
5) Students can learn at their own pace
Students can learn at their own pace thanks to the adaptability of digital education, which allows them to study whenever and wherever they like. They can reread articles to learn more about a subject, or they can go back through the modules in order.
Students have access to the learning platform around the clock, with resources like recorded lectures available whenever they need them. After a lecture is over, the information is not lost.
Successful learning outcomes, student motivation and engagement, and the avoidance of an “edtech reality gap” are all improved when students are able to learn independently at their own pace.
6) Digital assessment tracks progress
Students can expect to be evaluated multiple times throughout their academic careers. Presentations, both live and recorded, can be graded digitally as well.
In order to prove that they can speak a modern foreign language fluently, students can submit audio files or videos of themselves performing a practical task. This was implemented successfully by West Bridgford School (WBS) in Nottingham, England. WBS had its language learners make videos of themselves cooking and describing the process in the target language using the Brightspace Video Assignments feature.
Using digital assessment, teachers can give students focused criticism on a particular section of an assignment. Time stamps on submitted videos or written text are both acceptable formats for this. A student who needs to review a certain topic can easily find it again by clicking on a tag that corresponds to the course material.
For instructors, the time-saving aspects of digital assessment come in the form of simplified grading and more efficient feedback. Tutors will then have more time to focus on the areas of the curriculum that need attention. It is possible for computers to automatically mark quizzes with right and wrong answers, saving instructors a great deal of time.
Because their grades and comments can be accessed easily at any time, students benefit greatly from the online learning platform. As a result, they can monitor their development and return to previous comments at any time.
7) Blended learning
Blended education incorporates both traditional classroom instruction and online resources. The method has great potential because it combines the accessibility and adaptability of online learning with the one-on-one attention of classroom instruction.
Depending on the nature of the course and the individual needs of the students, each school and teacher will implement blended learning in a unique way. Many educators now use the ‘flipped classroom’ model made possible by blended learning, wherein students access content on the learning platform in advance of in-person lessons. This allows for knowledge to be acquired outside of class through means such as recorded lectures, documents, videos, and other resources, and then knowledge to be applied in class.
8) Competency-based learning
In a competency-based approach to education, it is understood that students will make progress at various rates over the course of a given time period. Some subjects will require more time investment from students than others. In order to fill in any gaps in their knowledge, they might need to look beyond the standard course material.
The adaptability of digital education, with its capacity for personalised learning journeys within a framework designed around achieving set outcomes, makes a competency-based approach to learning possible. The platform’s built-in logic ensures that students only advance to new topics once they have mastered the previous ones and fulfilled other, previously established requirements.
9) Collaborative learning
Many students in today’s classes have prior experience with file-sharing platforms. They have grown accustomed to the idea of working together in virtual communities thanks to their use of social media.
Education in the digital age doesn’t have to be a one-way street from teacher to student and back again. As a means of gaining insight from the tutor and their peers, students can present and discuss their work. Document sharing, video conferencing, and online discussion boards are all ways in which they can collaborate on projects. Teamwork and communication abilities are honed in this setting.
Students can connect with their peers all over the world through the internet, expanding their horizons and exposing them to new perspectives and cultures.
10) Improves digital literacy
In this age of technology, competence with digital tools is essential. One definition of “digital literacy” is the proficiency in using digital tools for research and communication. It’s a necessity in everyday life and a requirement for entry-level work in a wide range of fields. There is a high probability that even the application process itself will involve some form of technological assistance.
In 2020, 97% of UK children aged 5 to 15 used the internet; more than 50% of those surveyed said they had posted or shared content on video-sharing platforms. However, children’s exposure to technology is beginning earlier and earlier in life, with 82% of 3-4 year olds going online in 2020 and 48% already owning a tablet, according to the same report.
The goal of digital education is to equip students with the knowledge and abilities necessary to effectively use and enjoy digital media. Learning in a digital environment helps students become more confident in their ability to locate, evaluate, and contribute to informational resources online. They learn to evaluate the information they encounter online and form their own opinions about its veracity, safety, and accuracy.