DIGITAL LEARNING

Our life-style, our daily routine and social life, this Pandemic changed almost everything. So we changed our teaching style.

Since March 2020, schools and colleges have been closed  after our Prime Minister announced Lockdown in the country. The board exam of class 10 and 12 got postponed, including other semester and competitive exams. This was done considering the safety of one and all in the country.

This virus taught us many lessons from being environment friendly to getting digitized. The only thing which can be done, is maintain social distancing and follow safety norms.

Even in the process of unlocking from June 2020, the schools, colleges and other educational institutes remained closed. But for the growth of students, teaching and learning cannot be stopped for such a long time.   

Taking into account the safety of students and teachers, schools, colleges and other institutes shifted  to digital learning.

What is Digital Learning?

Digital learning means learning online, which includes educational strategies accompanied by technology.

If you think that only the use of tools is digital learning, and providing students with the devices will make them learn. Actually then, it is not. The devices, software are just not sufficient, they need teachers for this.

Digital learning is the integration of teaching with technology, to peer and sharpen the knowledge of students.

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Basic requirements for Digital learning:

The basic requirements of online learning are:-

  • Hardware:  Hardware devices such as mobile, laptop (Windows, Linux or macOS) or tablets are needed for learning online.
  • Software: For teaching, software such as documenting software, PowerPoint presentation, audio and video setups are required. So, we need to install proper software for easy accessibility to all these features. 

The most commonly used video conferencing software are zoom, cisco webex, google meet, etc. These softwares provide many features for conducting online classes.

  • Internet connectivity: With the internet, the contents   are provided or delivered to the students online. 

In the light of this process of learning, many telecommunication companies have enriched their data plans, so that students can afford the plans at a cheap cost.  

  • Digital content: For interactive and adaptive learning, study materials are the most important. The content being delivered in the form of PDF, youtube lectures, classic literature or video lectures, etc. and the way it is being delivered plays a significant role.
  • Teachers: Teachers are essential to digital learning. No technology can replace the role of a teacher in students’ life. With the advancement of the technology teaching style may change but not the teachers or educators. They provide materials and guidance to ensure better learning of students.

Why is digital learning demand at peak?

The answer to this question is the demand of today as an alternative of classroom teaching, and also as the future of learning. 

With the varied opinions of students, teachers and the other stakeholders of educational organizations, the department is focusing on the growth of students, and overall education system.

Strategies:

The pedagogy is being modified. For making digital learning fruitful as classroom learning a strategic planning is required. 

These are:-

  • Initiative from head of organization: All schools and universities need to collaborate with the demand of today. This will help in overall development of students with benefits provided to teachers from the top  of the institution. 
  • Webinar and workshop online: Teachers and faculties should be trained first by conducting webinar and workshop online. This is necessary because only then, they can efficiently use the software and hardware devices and deliver their knowledge to students.
  • Determining educational goals: With proper planning for various variables for class such as timing, syllabus, assignment, projects, and tests, class can be made interactive and effective, with ease of learning. Teachers can also use their creativity, ideas to make class interactive.
  • Considering technology: With the proper use of technology the students can be provided with notes, slides or recorded sessions which students can use for future references.
  • Progress monitoring: Technology can be used to monitor the progress of a student like how much syllabus they covered, what assignment the student has done, and what is remaining. It l is useful for keeping track of each and every student. 

What is the impact?

According to some surveys, it has been found that digital learning has a positive impact on students and teachers. In this tough time they are now able to unpack the studies at their usual pace.

Challenges, and Limitations of digital learning:

  • Lack of proper internet connectivity: Many students come from village, or rural areas where they do not have a proper internet connection. Due to this they face difficulty in online studies.
  • Hardware unavailability: Not every student has the same access to technology as they cannot afford mobile or laptop for online studies. 
  • Not self-discipline: Many students are not self-disciplined. With digital learning, teachers cannot check actively on them as they do in regular classroom teaching. They cannot check the homework or assignment, and know which student has done or not. The only thing, they can do that they can give due for that work.
  • Social interaction:  School and college life is very precious in a students’ life. These are places where they not only learn the education basics but meet their friends for lifetime. They form groups and share their feelings and ideas among each other. They also motivate each other. These feelings cannot be placed in online classes.
  • Lack of teacher contact: Like offline teaching, there is no such student teacher interaction in online classes. So teachers need to put some extra effort to make class interactive and clear the doubts of students.

Conclusion  

Digital learning is a demand of today’s education system. This has made learning easy during this pandemic. This process of learning is significantly increasing with the use of technology. 

The stakeholders of the education system are emphasizing the technological use in the education system. With classes being conducted online, teachers are planning to make class interactive by providing good content study material to students. There are some challenges in this learning for many students and teachers, as not all have the same access to technology. But overcoming all these challenges and limitations, classes should go on as learning must never stop.

FAQ

Q.What is digital learning?

Digital learning is the integration of teaching with technology, to peer and sharpen the knowledge of students.

Q. Requirement of digital learning?

Technology (hardware and software devices) and internet connectivity.

Q. For video-conferencing lectures which app should be installed?

Apps such as Zoom, Cisco webex, Google meet, etc. can be installed. There is no such preference. All are good.

Q.In what format content is delivered in  digital learning?

Content can be PDF, slides or video lectures.

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