Technology is changing U.S. and global education systems at an incredible pace.
Most school districts have supplied digital devices to middle and high school students. On top of this, the availability of high-speed internet at school and home and advanced learning management systems have made a classroom without walls a reality for most students and teachers.
The swift transformation of the educational infrastructure has exposed new challenges and opportunities across the entire learning sector.
Tech-Related Challenges Educators Face Today
Here are some of the top issues academia is working through right now:
- Educating teachers. Instructors not only need to learn to properly use digital devices, content, and tools, but they also must leverage them effectively in the classroom and virtually. Computer use is relatively easy for new teachers who grew up using them in school, for entertainment, and in all aspects of their lives. It’s more of a challenge for older, experienced educators who have had to adapt to using new technology and could be set in their ways.
- Creating engaging and compelling digital content. Digital materials can’t just be repackaged textbooks. They must be unique virtual experiences that engage students with different abilities across all subjects and grade levels. That can be a big challenge for content creators and educators who aren’t experts in digital delivery methods like video, games, virtual experiences, and podcasts.
- Finding ways to support student and teacher social and emotional needs in the virtual realm. Empathy and sensitivity are challenging enough in real-world environments like the classroom. Addressing them online with limited direct human connection is a big challenge.
- Identifying good content from bad. Teachers have unlimited online educational resources (OERs) available to them today. The scope is as extensive as the internet. It’s critical to educate teachers so they can tell effective OERs from bad ones.
Tech-Related Educational Benefits
Some of the benefits of digital learning include the following:
- New solutions to persistent learning challenges. Digital learning is far more flexible than traditional methods. It makes it easier for students with different abilities and learning styles to map their own paths to reach educational goals.
- It results in instructional wins. Many students find traditional classroom and textbook learning dull. This has prevented them from fully engaging with their subject matter and materials. Students are more likely to succeed when learning is fun, as it typically is in the digital realm.
- Students can learn by doing. Digital experiences encourage trial and error until learners achieve success. Nothing is more powerful than virtually trying out a newly learned skill or concept, something it’s almost impossible to do with a flat textbook.
- It teaches skills needed in the workplace today. Today’s work environment is digital and virtual. Starting students out early in these realms prepares them for the realities of today’s work world. It can also help make them the leaders in the next tech revolution.
- It provides a safe space to learn essential life skills. It can be challenging to try out skills related to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships, and responsible decision-making in the real world. Digital experiences allow students to try out life skills in a safe virtual environment where they can see the ramifications of their choices.
- It eliminates the limits to learning. In a virtual world, students have unlimited access to content and educational experiences. They’re no longer controlled by what’s between the covers of their textbooks or the contents of a library. The possibilities for learners are unlimited. However, educators and parents must be equipped to guide students to the right content and experiences for them.
- It makes education more creative. Digital learning makes it possible for students to create their own learning experiences. When they’re allowed to use their imaginations, learning becomes more engaging and memorable.
Digital Learning: The Opportunity
Instead of viewing the evolution of education in terms of challenges and benefits, publishers and educators must consider them opportunities. And while the opportunities right now may seem unlimited and a bit overwhelming, you don’t have to go it alone.
The experts at EdGate can help evaluate and optimize digital offerings. We can also help ensure they meet educational standards across the United States and the world. Contact us to learn more about EdGate’s content optimization services and how we can help you face the brave world of digital learning.