How digital technology is changing education

Technology and the internet have begun to transform education – here’s three ways students can benefit:

Individualised learning

For many children, high school education still looks much the same today as it did 50 years ago, with 20+ children all sat at their desks in front of a chalkboard or whiteboard, being taught the same content at the same speed as everyone else in the class.

This has been relatively successful, as most kids fall somewhere in the middle and the class is taught at roughly their pace – but this method fails for those both at the top and the bottom of the class. Those that are struggling, possibly with a learning difficulty, fall ever-further behind, while those at the top are having their skills and abilities ignored.

Now digital technologies are being embraced by schools and other institutions of learning, it has become possible for each student to learn at their own pace, without leaving anybody behind. In the simplest terms, this may be as simple as filming each class and making the videos available online for students to watch and re-watch, both at school and at home, until they start to understand, but also may extend to creating a multitude of learning pathways to the same result – so pupils can choose the best method for themselves.

Expanded horizons

The internet offers the students of today the ability to explore deeper and learn more about the world than ever before. Where once you would need to visit a library and search through books for hours to find the answer to a question, now it is just a few taps away on your smartphone.

Wikipedia is the greatest source of knowledge ever created, and teachers now agree that it is a fantastic starting point for deeper research into a wide variety of subjects. Pupils of any age can engage with subjects they find interesting and answer their own questions without fear of embarrassment or judgement from their peers – the internet can start everyone’s personal and individual quest for knowledge.

Cheaper alternatives

Universities are becoming increasingly expensive, and whilst they still offer a lot from social skills to self-motivation, many courses of similar quality can now be found online for free.

Many major universities from Stanford and Harvard in the US to Oxford and Cambridge in the UK are putting some of their courses online. These are more than just the lectures, and often include tests, projects, and if completed can earn students a certificate to show their proficiency in the subject and help get them onto the first rung of the ladder for a job in the industry they want.

Photograph by Pexels

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