How is digital technology transforming the classroom?
Digital technology has changed almost every industry and the education sector is no exception. The use of technology in the classroom is changing education in remarkable ways and both teachers and students are benefiting from this rapid shift.
There are some changes that we can expect to see as digital learning transforms education. For example, the way teachers present lessons and information and how students interact with that information has changed. Students interact with the lesson and collaborative more than ever before. Digital technology in the classroom also teaches students new skills, such as digital literacy. This can help them when they go on to the work environment later in life.
How has technology changed the way we teach?
The traditional model of teachers lecturing and students completing homework in their own time is changing. Instead, students are learning more outside of the classroom on their own. They are then using the classroom to go more in depth into what they’ve learned. This model, known as the ‘flipped classroom’, is gaining popularity due to the ease of access to technology.
So, how does the ‘flipped classroom’ model work? Students start learning at home through reading articles or watching videos. Then, the following day in the classroom, the teacher goes into more depth on the topic and answers any questions that the students have. Students then discuss the topic and work with the new information to complete tasks.
The ‘flipped classroom’ provides benefits for both teachers and students. Teachers can spend more time helping students with the things they don’t understand. Therefore, they can spend more time giving one-on-one help for students.
Is collaboration improved by introducing more technology to the classroom?
Digital learning also creates a new emphasis on the idea of collaboration. Thanks to more technology in the classroom, students can collaborate online and work on projects together in their own time. This collaboration can create more interest and engagement with the topic as they feel more involved. With a ‘flipped classroom’ model, teachers can spend less time lecturing and spend more time on engaging activities and projects.
Technology has also created a more connected world. Now, everyone is contactable almost any time of day. Cloud-based apps allow students to share work or resources and collaborate in their own time. Many teachers are already using social media to encourage students to engage and collaborate with each other about projects from home. As digital learning becomes more popular, this kind of ‘at home’ collaboration will increase.
Will this increase higher-order thinking?
Thanks to technology, students have instant access to all the information they could ever want. No more sitting in a library flicking through books to try and find a tiny bit of relevant information. There is also no longer a need for students simply to memorise facts. Now, there is more emphasis on higher-order thinking.
Higher-order thinking is when students are asked to do something with that piece of information that they have found. This means analysing information—comparing and contrasting. Students are now being asked to create something on their own that shows their understanding. For example, this could be an essay exploring ‘why’ something happened rather than ‘what’ happened.
In almost every classroom, students are being asked to complete these higher-order thinking tasks. Teachers no longer lecture and test students on their regurgitation of facts and figures. This new way of learning is teaching students to be critical thinkers rather than learning by rote. This use of initiative is a sought-after skill that is in-demand in the job market today.
Does digital learning teach students new skills?
There are many other skills that students will need to stay competitive in today’s job market. For example, digital literacy. This is the ability to use the internet and other digital technologies, which is increasingly important for a wide range of jobs. Teachers will spend more time teaching digital literacy as technology becomes a bigger part of everyday life and education alike.
These are just some of the ways that digital technology is transforming education today. As digital learning grows as part of education, more changes are inevitable. This is an exciting concept as technology can allow teachers to spend more time with each student individually. This means teachers can tailor their time to the students’ individual learning needs.0