Digital technology in relationship to education can have many meanings. The one i want to focus on is the new way many people are studying and that is by using online resources rather then by physically attending lesson or lectures where a teacher is passing on the knowledge.
The last twenty years have seen a drastic improvement in digital technology. The amount of information on the internet and the millions of educational websites that the last generation of students was brought up to means that today’s students learn differently. (Patton, 2018) states that the new generation of students is no longer excited at the prospect of having to go to a library to find any small piece of information, or to take notes on their paper notepad without having the ability to look at the lecture notes online. As such there is a new demand within the community of young students for the curriculum to be innovative and most importantly online accessible.
This poses a new obstacle for the educators of today’s generation. (Patton, 2018) states that if the students that spent most of their lives interacting on the internet are denied access to their studies on the internet it will have a negative impact on their studies. The retention levels decrease as students are not allowed to interact with the content as they are used to do with any content and that is online.
As such, from secondary schools up to universities, the way courses are taught is being modernized. GCSE revision and learning is now available on government websites where students can study without the need of using a physical book or the need of a teacher as the learning site is designed to allow the students to learn on their own.
This creation of next generation teaching and learning platforms is universally used across all the learning levels. Universities, academies and even driving schools employ the use of online learning rather then employing a professional to do the teaching. This way of teaching is very much liked by the generation of students using the internet on their day to day but there is another reason that this way of educating is seeing so much development in the past several years.
An independent research done by (Cobb, 2019) was done to establish how much money does it cost to create an interactive online teaching program. The research shows that for each one hour of interactive content, the time to develop such content takes roughly 140 hours of programming and designing. At an average wage for a content creator of £65 per hour, the cost of this one hour of content is around £9100. This seems like a large amount to invest into just one hour of teaching material however, this content can be used by unlimited amount of students around the world. If we compare this to a trained teacher or a professor, paying his wage wouldn’t as effective if he was to educate more then couple hundreds of students.
Having the opportunist for everyone to get a set level of education is an important role of the government and having this done online offers many benefits.
With educational programs that are used by a large percentage of the population, using digital technology in providing this education has far reaching benefits. Not only it is more cost effective as demonstrated, it also ensures a similar national level of education that everyone can achieve using these online learning programs. The difference in education based on the facility a student is attending can be enormous and by using a common learning tool that ensures that students using it can achieve a similar level of understanding and education is beneficial as it allows everyone to achieve the same level without being dependent on the learning facility or teaching style they are or would be presented with in an educational facility.
There are many people who don’t have the option to go back to school or university due to their current social or financial position. Many of these people now have more opportunity then ever so self educate using many free sources or paid online courses in their specific field. This allows for a more flexible class of working people that might be able to educate themselves and move to a different occupation or employment thanks to the opportunity that online teaching programs offer.
One group of people who were often left behind in the more classical educational setting were people with social anxieties or problems to focus in a classroom. This issue made a lot of people fall behind not due to their lack of ambition or inability to learn but due to the way that learning programs were constructed in a very social and to some people intimidating fashion. Many of these people would not attend classes purely out of fear for being asked a question in front of the whole class and not knowing the answer. To these people the traditional way of educating might have felt unfair. However with the new online way of self educating, these groups of people can use the resources given to them and be able to get qualification in fields that they would otherwise not be able to thanks to the next generation learning environments.
The digital technology is advancing the way people are being educated all around the world. It is no longer a necessity to hire an expensive tutor or attend a school or education center to learn a new language or a subject. This new way of educating is cheaper and more efficient as one lecture can teach thousands of people simultaneously and offers an universal standard of knowledge that can be set my the content creator. It is not necessary that all teaching is done online, however, it is important to give the students the option to study in a way that will be most beneficial to them.
Cobb, J. (2019). How much does it cost to create e-learning? What the research says.. [online] Review my LMS. Available at: https://reviewmylms.com/cost-to-create-e-learning [Accessed 27 Jul. 2019].
Patton, R. (2018). Digital evolution: a new approach to learning and teaching in higher education. [online] https://www.timeshighereducation.com. Available at: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/digital-evolution-new-approach-learning-and-teaching-higher-education [Accessed 28 Jul. 2019].