Education Technology and Digital Literacy
Over the last two decades, there has been a sudden rise in the use of technology in the classroom. Today, teachers and students have access to thousands of applications, educational videos, and online resources designed to improve the overall learning experience. Digital advancement and innovation have replaced chalkboards with smartboards, and textbooks with tablets.
The widespread use of digital technology has transformed the way educators teach, and students learn. Schools are now recognising the need for digital literacy and teaching children these technical abilities to prepare them for the demands of the workforce.
School Closures and Remote Working
In the middle of a global pandemic, technology has played an even greater role in educating children remotely. With almost 1.5 billion children and youth affected by COVID-19 related school closures, there has been a drive towards online and digital resources to provide continuity during remote learning.
Schools were forced to identify and implement effective alternatives to the traditional approach of teaching in a physical classroom. Remote learning has led to a dramatic improvement in digital literacy skills across the general teaching community and opened up new doors and opportunities for students of all ages.
According to the Journal of School Choice, 57 percent of parents said that their child’s remote schooling went better than expected, and 60 percent of parents believed their children’s schools adequately prepared them for remote learning. With the rise of remote learning, many higher education facilities are substituting traditional resources with modern educational technologies to keep up with the evolving needs of modern digital learners.
Key Benefits of Remote Learning
With remote learning, there’s been a remarkable improvement in children’s engagement and learning process. Here are some ways remote learning helps children to improve their digital literacy.
Children have become more self-reliant and independent because of virtual learning. Kids as young as five years old now understand the complexities and importance of digital platforms. They can log in, mute/unmute, and go explore the web on their own, helping them to develop a strong sense of ownership. Technology allows educators to break down physical barriers, allowing young students to apply what they’ve learned in class to real-world situations.
Today’s children are more visual learners with access to a variety of digital technologies. Children adapt better to a combination of visual, aural, and activity-based learning, and distant learning provides them all. Children (especially younger students) are more engaged virtually because of the visually appealing and engaging digital content, which enhances their learning experience and improves retention.
Improved Access to Information
Digital technology makes it easier for students to find information quickly and accurately. Traditional textbooks are being replaced by search engines and e-books. Instead of hiring a personal tutor, students can now easily access one-on-one guidance through instructional and educational videos that can be accessed at any time.
Most children are now a part of the digital world, thanks to social networking platforms. Educators can help students learn how to be responsible in the digital world by incorporating technology-related lessons into the classroom. The online classroom has become a broader digital landscape where students can practice how to communicate, search, and engage with other people while understanding possible online threats.
Online educational tools make it easier for teachers to accommodate different learning styles in their students, leading to a more inclusive learning environment. Classroom learning apps give students independence and individualised learning. Students can work at their own pace, and according to their own needs.
We may think technology is a source of distraction for kids, but it can encourage active engagement during distant learning. Shy children find it easier to share their ideas and thoughts online with their classmates and teachers. Skype, Teams, and Zoom allow students to have virtual meetings with classmates from all around the world. Students can quickly share and edit work with one another using services like Google Drive.
Preparing for the Future
Education is not just about memorising facts and academic success, it’s also about the ability to solve complex problems and being ready to collaborate with others in the workforce. Knowledge and experience in digital technologies will soon be an absolute necessity for stepping out into the real world. As a result, it’s critical to ensure that children don’t miss out on learning how to use technology properly.
Teaching children how to use the internet for research and learning provides them the tools they need to teach themselves, and it’s a skill they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives. Distance learning is helping children to gain adequate digital knowledge and improving their skills to get ready for the future.