What is Digital Learning and What It Means Directly to the Classroom?
Dr. Ryle Kiser
What is digital learning? How is it going to impact the students in the schools. What does going to a one-to-one system really mean for the students? How is it going to impact the education of the students? These are all questions that many people in the community may be asking. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, “digital learning is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student's learning experience. ... Additionally, digital learning can be used for professional learning opportunities for teachers and to provide personalized learning experiences for students.” If the technology is utilized correctly there are a number of opportunities that will be available to both students and teachers.
Technology used in digital learning can enable students to comprehend content matter more completely and at a faster rate of comprehension. The students will become more involved in the learning process due to the variety of new instructional strategies teachers will be implementing in the classroom. It will allow the students to make direct correlations between the theories that are introduced and the need to applies these theories in a manner that will provide them with direct feedback which will enhance learning and comprehension.
Digital learning means students are no longer restricted to learning in one specific learning style based on the type of instruction being utilized for a particular lesson, but instead use interactive software or internet information to learn in their dominant learning style. This will keep them more on task and interested in the educational experience. Teachers will be provided with feedback immediately in many cases that will allow them to make adjustments to their instruction to meet the individual learning needs of their students. Through the use of technology and digital learning, the education of students is no longer restricted to the classroom or to the school day or school year. It can always be happening anytime and anyplace.
Digital learning should also enhance creativity of the students. Educational systems have been forced in the past to downplay creativity to a point in order to meet the standards for academic achievement. Have you noticed that some schools do not place a high priority on the fine arts? This is because the core curriculum does not identify the fine arts as high priorities. Through the use of digital learning, education should be able to stress the use of the students creativity while at the same time meeting the academic standards that are expected. In fact, a collaboration between academics and creativity has been proven to increase comprehension levels. When it comes to using the student’s creativity in the classrooms, there should be no hesitation for either the students or the teachers.
Finally, digital learning allows students to learn at their own pace. It is no longer restricted to the pace of the other students in the classroom. Regardless of the content area, whether a student is advanced in a subject area or needs remedial help to reach comprehension of the material, digital learning through the use of software applications and the network can always be working on material that meets their particular learning need at that time. This factor alone makes digital learning valuable. No student should be “left behind” due to lack of understanding and no student should be slowed down. They should be able to progress at their own rate dependent on their progress.