Digital Learning: How does it help students?
The impact of digital on education is in its nascent stage in India but we are surely and swiftly moving towards transformation of the learning tools and aids.
Student learning is facilitated when content and its delivery and continuous learning assessment are designed to generate interest, involvement, sense of purpose and understanding of impact.
Let us look at the various dimensions of digital learning:
A) Learning Delivery in physical or distributed classroom
• With each student provided with a Tablet or a PC, teacher can guide the class discussion using the device whether it is a lecture session or case discussion or exercise.
• In the classroom mode all the student devices are synchronised to the faculty device to facilitate focus and eliminate abuse.
• Faculty can use his device as he would the white/black board or a projector by drawing or writing or typing on it
• The additional features could be spot quizzes to check student learning. This can be made fun with buzzer system built into it.
• Faculty can involve the students with an exercise and choose the student whose work/answer will be shared. When cases discussion happens students can be invited to share their pre-work to the class dynamically
• Students will also be able to make notes in his Tab/Laptop while the class is on alongside faculty teaching notes where possible for contextual learning. It is also possible to extend this feature for a learning summary at the end of each session to be prepared by the students and submitted
• To Sum Up, the new digital tools go beyond passive download or verbal interaction and allow the faculty and students to use multi-media to engage. This becomes more relevant in both distributed classrooms and physical classrooms where there are 40+ students
B) Learning Management by student
• E- Books that are integrated with features such as annotation, select and highlight, addition of notes or reference and extraction of specific passages to create own learning trail.
• As special content get created E- Books will bring multi-media content with colour, dimension, Audio, video and even interaction thru touch and type
• E- Books and documents come with various advantages of being easy to produce, update, store, search and research, retrieve, carry, hold and read. With advanced encryption and security it is possibly even more effective than paper in preventing unauthorised duplication
• Student can integrate classroom learning with internet learning and text book learning and create his own content and make it easier for him to revise and assimilate efficiently.
C) Off- Classroom engagement:
• Connected thru the device students can engage with other students and participate in discussion themes.
• Educational institution can disseminate schedules, exam results, assignment timelines, attendance and all such notifications thru the integrated learning platform
• Faculty can also engage in a chat/discussion session with the students
• Multiple interest groups can be formed for sharing news, information and such content of common interest
With digital no content is ever lost and the institution can build a robust digital content library that will serve generations to come.
Digital play will also allow for engagement of expert/ industry faculty who can teach from where he is.
Online programs that deliver live content thru distributed classroom or to the tab/laptop will become all pervasive and the need for studying in a physical classroom will decline.
Initially this trend will be creeping and slow but once the value and power of Online is recognised, even if it is marginally below the physical classroom experience it will become accepted.
The huge quality upgrade when the best faculty take to Online to teach masses will become a compelling reason to embrace online. Top quality Education will then be not for a privileged lot but available to masses. And to top that it will be available at extremely low cost.