Digital learning gives students an element of control over time, place, source of information and pace. It allows students to learn in their own way, on their own timetable, wherever they are, often at a time that suits them. And a sense of control is a fundamental element in motivation.
Students are already using digital learning everywhere – except school! They are gaming, texting and posting on the internet, checking out ‘how to’ videos on You Tube. They just need an opportunity to apply those digital skills to their learning.
Even a few years ago, providing a customised, personalised education for all students would have been a dream. Today technology can turn that dream into a reality.
Students can watch video lectures and listen to podcasts from inspirational educators from across the world. They can master complex theories, especially in maths and science, by watching videos and playing games. Digital learning lets students learn by listening, reading and doing – whatever works best for their learning preference.
With technology, students can learn in their own style and at their own pace. Interactive and adaptive learning technology can enable their teaching source to immediately adjust to their responses and present a greater or lower challenge until they have mastered the topic. When a student demonstrates an understanding of the core concepts, the content becomes more challenging. It’s mastery or competence led learning.
Instant feedback creates better learners.
Learning management systems and online formative assessments can show the teacher real-time measurements on the progress of each individual student – against learning objectives that the student knows in advance.
That gives the teacher the chance to intervene quickly with feedback on what to do to improve the student’s learning – and we know that the faster the feedback to the student on how to improve, the faster that student progresses.
Self-paced learning means high-achieving students won’t get bored, while struggling students can get the extra time and support and then confidence that ultimate mastery brings.
It’s student-centred not classroom-centred. It directly engages students in their own education, using the sort of technology that they enjoy.
Digital learning is a social and geographical equaliser. Regardless of your background or postcode, high quality, adaptive, personalised learning can be delivered to your computer – or tablet. It extends the available time for learning.