Digital Learning is the starting of a new dawn in education. The 21st century has been rightly termed as the era of digital learning and education. The growth of the Internet has brought a substantial change in people. Today we are heavily dependent on the usage of digital technology to complete even the simplest of tasks.
Digital Learning or E-Learning has created ripples in the teaching sector. It has successfully replaced the blackboards, chalks, and dusters with computers, tablets, and mobiles. The traditional way of learning has been replaced by web-based digital learning and Digital Learning app. It has successfully strengthened student’s learning experience.
What is Digital Learning?
Digital Learning can be defined as learning that is accompanied by the use of the internet and information technology. Today, Digital Learning encompasses a wide range of learning strategies and theories that includes blended learning and virtual learning.
Digital Learning: A Brief History
The first machine that allowed students to test themselves on subject matters was invented in 1924. By 1954, BF Skinner had dreamed up a “teaching machine” that enabled schools to administer programmed instruction to their students.
However, it was not until 1960 that the first computer-based training program was developed. Known as “PLATO” (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations), the program was designed for students at the University of Illinois but ended up being more broadly used by students statewide.
By the 1970s, online learning started to become more interactive rather than simply feeding information to students.
The 1990s saw an even bigger push toward digital learning. Schools were designed specifically to deliver online courses without companion in-person learning sessions. With its increased adoption, digital learning also became more affordable to develop and deliver.
As time went on, digital learning started making its way into the business realm. The development of artificial intelligence has made Digital Learning more attractive to students.
By the first decade of the 2000s, it had become a popular way to deliver training to employees. The move to online learning and training made it possible for both new and seasoned employees to develop and improve their skills when and where it’s most convenient.
How can we make Digital Learning successful?
Despite the fact that the growth of digital learning is gaining momentum all over the world especially during the Post-covid 19 era, the students, teachers, and parents still need to take a few steps in order to make digital learning more successful by taking the initiative.
Despite so much hue and the cry of Digital learning there is still a lot to be done in this sector to make it more effective especially in underdeveloped and developing countries where the concept is still unknown or has poor or no networking infrastructure.
2) Increasing Computer literacy
Unless there is no proper computer education and training among people, digital learning is ineffective or virtually non-existence. Thus our first job is to make people computer literate. Computer education must be made compulsory in schools and computer training centers must be opened in different parts of the countries especially in rural areas.
3) Make User friendly Digital Learning courses
The content and quality of the digital learning courses must be relevant and meaningful to make digital learning more effective. The digital learning courses must be made more user-friendly so the students can easily operate upon them. It must be designed taking into account the learning ability of the learner and his age. One way to do this is to use various e-learning/authoring tools that would make digital learning interesting.
4) The Attitude of the teacher
The attitude of the instructor also plays a vital role in increasing the student’s response to digital learning. He should encourage his students to make full use of the new digital learning tools.
5) Bringing more diversity in Digital learning courses
In order to make digital learning more interesting and interactive, new diverse courses must be introduced to students. The more choices they have the greater their inclination toward the new learning technique.
The Benefits of Digital Learning
As more and more students and teachers are steadily moving towards online digital learning. In almost every field including business, arts, engineering, and programming languages, digital learning is showing its presence. Traditional marketing is being replaced with Digital Marketing. Digital classrooms are coming up rapidly in all streams all over the world with learners eagerly filling up the seats.
Digital Learning has proved to be beneficial in several significant ways:
Robust educational system
Digital Learning has helped educators in developing a robust education infrastructure. Nowadays, more and more institutes all over the world have incorporated digital learning into their curriculum. Many engineering colleges are teaching in smart classrooms, where the students are taught using advanced e-learning tools.
Competitive edge to Engineering/technology students
Digital Learning has given the students a competitive edge over those studying in a traditional way especially those studying engineering. Most online portals offer online courses that cover both theory and practical. Such tools and technology have taken our education to the next level where students can study any subject at their convenient time and pace.
A Superb Tool For Transferring Knowledge And Upgrading Skills
Digital Learning is a very flexible medium for studying sitting in the comfort of one’s own room. Students can now study, experience, test their learning through self-assessment, and even keep a track of their progress and milestones.
Ideal For Corporate Training.
The online learning platforms are portable, efficient, flexible, and robust. Corporate companies have now started using digital learning tools extensively to train their employees, help them upgrade their skills, and provide seamless sessions for knowledge transfer.
Digital Learning Tools for Students and Teachers
Here are some of the digital learning platforms with the purpose of giving autonomy to the student, building a robust education system, encouraging collaboration, and facilitating communication between teachers and learners.
Edmodo is an educational tool that connects teachers and students and is assimilated into a social network. Here, the teachers can create online collaborative groups, administer and provide educational materials, measure student performance, and communicate with parents, among other functions. Edmodo has more than 34 million users who connect to create a learning process that is more enriching, personalized, and aligned with the opportunities brought by technology and the digital environment.
Socrative is a system that allows teachers to create exercises or educational games which students can solve using mobile devices, whether smartphones, laptops, or tablets. Teachers can see the results of the activities and, depending on these, modify the subsequent lessons in order to make them more personalized.
3) Google Classroom
Google Classroom is a powerful community-based social tool for learning. It allows students to post questions and receive answers from their teachers and fellow students. Furthermore, teachers can post questions and lesson materials for review at home. It can also be integrated with other Google products such as Google Forms, Google Docs which can be a great way to get feedback from students.
4) Adobe Spark Video
Spark Video is part of the Adobe Spark suite. The application enables students to produce short, animated, narrated explainer videos. Students can easily add photos, video clips, icons, and voice, as well as professional-quality soundtracks and cinematic motion to their video creations. Video and vlog making is a great way to engage students creatively, and an ‘out of the box approach to class projects or reviewing learning materials.
Projeqt is a tool that allows you to create multimedia presentations, with dynamic slides in which you can embed interactive maps, links, online quizzes, Twitter timelines, and videos, among other options. During a class session, teachers can share with students academic presentations which are visually adapted to different devices.
TED-Ed is an educational platform that allows creating educational lessons with the collaboration of teachers, students, animators—generally people who want to expand knowledge and good ideas. This website allows democratizing access to information, both for teachers and students. Here, people can have active participation in the learning process of others.
7) Khan Academy
With Khan Academy you can literally learn anything; all for free. Lessons are presented by way of videos, interactive activities, and challenges. Learners also earn badges in line with their achievements and can save their progress to their own profile. Khan Academy is a great way to supplement your teaching, provide extra work to your gifted and talented students or help those who are struggling with certain content.
8) Class Dojo
Class Dojo is a free classroom communication, community building, and behavior management application. A well-behaved student body is associated with better learning for everyone in the class as it minimizes distractions and improves student focus. Class Dojo enables teachers to not only track behavior and share this with parents, but also assign students tasks that build positive behavioral skills and traits.
This platform allows teachers and students to share and explore references and educational material. In eduClipper, you can collect information found on the internet and then share it with the members of previously created groups, which offers the possibility to manage more effectively the academic content found online, improve research techniques, and have a digital record of what students achieved during the course. Likewise, it provides the opportunity for teachers to organize a virtual class with their students and create a portfolio where all the work carried out is stored.
Storybird aims to promote writing and teaching skills in students through storytelling. In this tool, teachers can create interactive and artistic books online through a simple and easy-to-use interface. The stories created can be embedded in Blogs, sent by email, and printed among other options. In Storybird, teachers can also create projects with students, give constant feedback, and organize classes and grades.
SWAYAM is an online interactive program initiated by the government of India. It is designed to achieve three cardinal principles of educational policy Access, Equity, and Quality.SWAYAM is offering 800 online courses on its platform. From 2021-2022 academic session 149 universities in India, both private and government have accepted credits of SWAYAM massive open online course. About 2.1 crore students have been enrolled in SWAYAM since its inception.
Byju’s is an Indian multinational educational company, headquartered in Bangalore. It was founded in 1011. As of June 2021, Byju’s is valued at $16.5 billion. It is the world’s most valuable educational technology company. Byju’s learning app is an education tutoring app that runs on a freemium model. It was launched in 2015. It offers educational content for students from classes 4 to 12 and in 2019 Early learning program was started for classes 1 to 3. It also trains students for examination for examinations in India such as IIT-JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, and International exams like GRE and GMAT.
Digital Learning has completely transformed the teaching pedagogy for students. It has changed the whole game of learning where unlike the traditional methods of teaching where teachers used to dominate the scene, in digital learning the power rests with the students. Due to its benefits, Digital Learning has become more popular and is being appreciated by students all over the world.