We are in the age of digital transformation, and if you’re not embracing it, you’ll probably be left behind. For schools, this transformation or advancement towards a more technology-centred environment where knowledge can be imparted through the click of a button is the logical next step.
Why would you want students spending hours searching through books to extract relevant information on any subject, when all that could be done much quicker? Digitalization has taken the world by storm for good reason; it brings with it agility, innovation and novelty.
It’s important for educational institutions in the UK to keep up with the time and adapt to the current societal changes for a better outcome. And schools in the UK have already started adopting a policy of understanding and implementing the digitalization of education for better outreach, easier communication with students and faster delivery of lessons.
Here’s how digitalization will enhance student experience:
1. Improves accessibility
The power of technology is unparalleled when it comes to exchanging information and knowledge. Students can not only access books, novels, research papers and journals, but also important lessons and recorded classes.
Moreover, many schools, colleges and universities have adopted ways of creating backchannels and student portals that allow students to check class timings, pending assignments prior to each class, and the syllabi of each course. They can also schedule meetings with teachers, fellow students and administrative staff. Furthermore, online submissions of homework assignments, projects, tests and even exams can be done through digital means.
The most successful use of digital transformation has been the checking of plagiarism, which has historically been a major issue in schools. Through direct online submissions, digital platforms such as Turnitin have allowed teachers to validate the authenticity of their students’ work with evidence. This has proven to be a valuable resource and discouraged students from cheating and copying other people’s work.
The most recent and prime example of digitalization helping students by providing complete access to study materials is during COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns that ensued. Schools adapted to teaching classes online using a plethora of platforms like Zoom, Slack, and Google Meet.
2. Develops communication
One of the key benefits of digital transformation in schools is the enhancement of communication. The process of reaching out to teachers and fellow classmates has never been easier and/or quicker.
Students can easily communicate through different channels or make appointments to meet with their instructors.
Collaborative Learning is also an essential component of digital transformation, allowing students to cooperate and work in group projects seamlessly.
Moreover, teachers have more options as to how they run their classrooms. They can divide a classroom into groups, and adopt varying strategies with the view to improving students’ learning.
One understated benefit of improved communication is the coming together of students of different regions and countries. Students all over the world can connect to discuss relevant issues and problems and find solutions together.
Even instructors, researchers and subject matter experts can be reached for direct topical research. This is particularly helpful for university students looking for ideas and opinions for their research / thesis papers.
3. Promotes innovation
Digital transformation not only gives the opens up so many new avenues of learning to students, but also creates an atmosphere of novelty and satisfaction. You have to realize that most of the students these days are inclined towards using technology in their personal lives already.
Hence, instead of treating it as a distraction, why not incorporate and make better use of it? Digital methods of learning allow students to feel more engaged, which in turn makes them more active. Innovation through technology also breeds new ideas, and opens up students’ minds to creativity.
Interactive tools and apps encourage higher performance in students because they capture interest. Gamification is another method that is gaining some traction and can serve as fuel for innovation.
Moreover, students with special education needs who find traditional education hard to follow can feel empowered in classrooms through technological support. Students with autism, dyslexia, ADHD, etc., can now participate at their own pace.
4. Builds capacity
The quality of education is correlated to the performance output of students in a classroom. It is clear that with digital enhancements in the classroom, students gain a holistic perspective of understanding concepts and acquiring knowledge.
Supplementary tools along with teachers make it easier to develop students’ ability to comprehend and apply that knowledge in real life. Students can now solve complex puzzles, practice real life cases, watch tutorials etc. on their devices, on the go and in their own time. This makes them learn the dynamics of a globalized, modern world and prepares them for the future.
Through digital incorporation, students can learn to adapt to the fast-paced, challenging environments that they are bound to face when they start their careers, without feeling like it’s an alien concept. Getting acquainted with technological concepts will cultivate certain essential skills where they can thrive in a data driven world.
Perhaps such techniques can even inspire some students to pursue careers where they can change the world through technology.
5. Builds decision-making
Students are the driving force of any education system. Their participation is vital if the system has to change, advance and become more qualified. Digital modes of education make the whole participation and feedback sharing process smoother and easier. Many of the decisions in front of students put the responsibility on their shoulders, meaning they are in-charge.
Technology gives options and choices to students, for example they can choose which assignment to do when, when to study or take classes and how to best use their time. This breeds confidence and decision making in people, and makes them feel empowered through decision making. Schools should no longer be considered as academic cages but environments that allow the youth to challenge themselves and strive for a well-rounded educational experience.
By involving students in key decision making processes such as deadlines, grading criteria or group partners, you are telling students that their opinions matter. They are bound to be more involved and interested in studies too.
Irrespective of who you are or which industry you belong too, digitalization is today’s truth and it cannot be ignored. The benefits are there for everyone to see, and the world continues to reap these benefits. So why should students be any different?