Today, digital platforms have become an integral part of our daily routine. Digitalization in education has revolutionized the industry in a big way. With the technologies continuing to grow and providing newer avenues for learning, it is essential for educators and students to embrace a digital form of learning in a big way by adopting a more cohesive hybrid and blended form of learning to accelerate the learning process and thereby enhance the overall learning experience.
The growth of technology has resulted in positive learning experiences, effective teaching methods and engagements, and better knowledge retention. By digitalization in education, we mean, providing access to education through various digital tools and resources, along with technology to maximize the learning experience which is also known as Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), digital learning, or eLearning. In other words, Digitalized education is a blend of instructional, digital resources, and technology.
Education is no longer limited to textbooks and classrooms but has a wider scope now. It is also a digital alignment of innovative learning, digital content, and technology. The reachability of the internet to a large user base and its affordability have led to a greater confluence of traditional and digital training methods. The government has been involved in taking necessary steps and has come forward with policies and measures that will boost digitalized education markets in the years to come. With the advancement in technology, efforts are being made to uplift the standards of digital education, by providing better infrastructure and technology, to facilitate the utilization of innovative educational tools and resources.
Digitalization in education improves engagement and accessibility through interactive and customizable learning, resulting in cheaper education, more comprehensive content, and greater inclusivity. Digitalization in Education brings along with it Artificial Intelligence (AI) based learning methods, game-based learning, micro-learning, interactive audios and videos, online tests, augmented and virtual reality, etc which help students get more involved in the learning process. People with disabilities will also get access to education with text-to-speech or colorblind-friendly visualization. It also automates regular routine functions like evaluating tests and calculating the GPA.
The benefits of digitalization in education include:
- Widening the scope of learning opportunities by opening the doors to diverse groups of students attending the course from around the world.
- Facilitates collaboration by bringing people who are remotely connected together through video conferencing, sharing documents, etc. With the emergence of digitalized education, forming different groups, teams, events, etc has made it easy and you can make separate groups in Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, or whatever platform.
- Personalized Learning. Previously, all the teaching methodologies and instructions were designed with the whole class in mind but in digitalized learning, there is scope for personalized attention if the student is found lacking in certain areas. In other words, educators can customize the curriculum based on students’ learning speed and ability.
- Scalability: Digitalized Education can expand the reach of learning to the remotest areas where education is not accessible.
- Gamification: can be incorporated into the course design to motivate the students with reward points and real-time feedback.
- Facilitates self-directed learning by providing an ideal framework for each student’s learning journey. Digital learning enlarges their efficiency and productivity skills.
- Easily accessible resources and study materials at any time, any place.
- Track the progress of students quickly with examination results, assignments, and student assessments to enable the teachers to focus on weak areas and take corrective action. Digital assessment includes time-saving features that make grading and giving feedback simpler and more effective.
- Improves digital literacy: In today’s technology age, we all need to be digitally literate to understand the learning process. Digital literacy is the ability to use technology to access information.
- Better Engagement: provide a wide variety of opportunities to access information to support learning in the form of text, images, videos, etc
- Digital Classrooms: The use of online technology-enabled classrooms with LMS, Authoring tools, digital blackboards, etc provides a better learning experience for the students.
- Provide extensive resources for better knowledge retention
- Facilitate the use of newer technologies like micro-learning, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Extended Reality, etc.,
- Facilitate different modes of learning like Hybrid and Blended Learning
- Building a Peer-to-Peer community among students for sharing content and knowledge.
- Time and Cost efficiency.
- Flexible Learning
- Innovative contents
- Easier for Instructors to generate instructional materials with available tools and resources.
- Operation automation: Automating day-to-day operations like attendance tracking, performance monitoring, etc thus reduces the number of repetitive, time-consuming duties that a teacher undertakes.
Key processes of Digitalization in Education:
- a) Admission & Enrolment: Applying for school and college admission, and Professional Courses is a very convenient process. You can fill out the application form online along with all the supporting documents and upload it.
- b) Fee payment Online
- c) Facilities like AI-enabled Smart Classrooms, online classes for Hybrid and Blended Learning, IoT, Blockchain, cloud-based service, Big Data, etc.
- d) Use of LMS for better access to study materials online
- e) Evaluating performance: The management can review the progress periodically and access the attendance report of students at regular intervals.
- f) Conducting competitive examinations and providing the percentage/percentile scores quickly and declaring results.
- g) Conducting educational seminars, colloquium, symposiums, webinars etc
Challenges of Digitalization:
- a) No proper digitalization strategy: People are ignorant of digitalization in many areas.
- b) Frequent System breakdown.
- c) Scalability: ie., inclusive learning, remote access
- d) Improve the quality of digital infrastructure: Government should encourage digitalization in education by providing more incentives to educational institutions to upgrade to digital They should reserve at least 6% of GDP for education every year.
- e) Internet connectivity to all
- f) Provide technical training to teachers to familiarize themselves with the technology.
- g) ) Use of immersive technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and more lately XR ie Extended Reality to maintain a higher level of engagement with students.
One of the fundamental components of the UN sustainable development agenda, 2030 is quality education, with the aim to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all. Digital technologies have emerged as essential tools to achieve this goal. Technological improvements have made life easier for students. For instance, instead of carrying a heavy school bag every day filled with books, to the classrooms, the student can surf the eBook on the net which can reduce a lot of burden on the student. The laptop can be provided to the student instead. Also, instead of using a traditional pen and paper, students can instead use various software for documentation and presentation. When compared to a stack of notebooks, an iPad is relatively light. The Internet of Things (IoT) has proven to be one of the most cost-saving methods of educating young brains. With smartphones and other wireless devices gaining popularity, it does make sense for schools and other educational institutions to adopt these technologies as well.
Digitalization in education helps students to acquire the skills they need to navigate through technology and get the best out of the information provided. Students in digitalized education are comfortable in accessing, consuming, and sharing the content with peers. The broad scope that digitalized education provides to students for a range of content types, helps students stay engaged as they are building valuable skills that will serve them in their personal and professional careers as they embark on their digital learning journey. The involvement of digital platforms such as webinars, hybrid and blended learning, virtual and augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence enabled Smart Classrooms, etc have become the new chalk and board of digitalized educational systems worldwide.
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