The Impact of Digital Classrooms on Learning
Posted by Strategic Communications, JGI Group on 17 Oct 2018
Today’s young ones are growing up in a world different than ours – a digital world. We all know this for a fact, as most newborns are made to pose for a selfie. Children are no longer amazed by a computer. In fact, by age two most of them know how to access a YouTube video. Therefore, with the increasing use and exposure of digital devices, children cannot escape a community which is driven by an electronically linked lifestyle. However, educators have begun to take this inclination towards such a lifestyle positively, by infusing digital education into the education system of the country.
A student’s life is no longer restricted to books and stationary equipment for learning. Today’s typical childhood (and school life) is not one without an electronic device – at least with a parent or in the computer lab at school. In fact, the scope for the use of digital devices and online sources have literally shaped our connecting with the outer world and improved our knowledge base on a greater level. Thus, the need for computer literacy stepped in a few decades ago, leading to digital literacy to take form. But as time as flew by digital learning began to take the forefront of education in both urban and rural spaces.
The Waning of the Fear of Technology
Long gone are the days when fear of technology was the norm. We see that today, everyone is jumping into becoming digitally literate. And children are the last to take the backseat. Parents themselves introduce their children to mobile phones and tablets. Digital literacy and digital learning go hand-in-hand. The former encourages the use of various digital devices in our everyday lives for a better experience, while the latter is the use of digital devices to educate or teach children through the use of various electronic devices. A common evidence is the transformation of a classroom from using a blackboard to using an electronic or interactive board/whiteboard. Thus, India began the journey of hosting digital classrooms.
The Indian education system has incorporated digital classrooms in most schools across private & government schools in both rural and urban sectors. A serious undertaking with the support of numerous NGO’s, startups, and the telecommunication industry has been taken up to render to those requirements necessary to establish digital classrooms. This includes efforts in connecting geographically remote areas so that schools receive those logistics and services. Some of the best schools in India are now making digital learning as a mainstream system of education.
The Good Vibes of Digital Devices
Children are inquisitive and receptive by nature. Since they are so fascinated by the numerous devices at hand, it only seems beneficial to use those devices to gain their attention and feed useful and constructive knowledge into their systems. So, what are those facilities or opportunities that have made learning more interactive? With the much-used internet communication, we have realized how fast-paced broadband services boost our online presence and interaction.
Regulating new and advanced internet services has become the foundation to maximize access to the digitalized world. And providing the same to schools across the nation has been one of the necessities of making a digital classroom a reality in every school. The government itself has been initiating and joining hands with broadband networks.
Virtual classrooms and use of virtual reality (VR) teaching techniques are slowly becoming widespread with even some of the best schools in Bangalore incorporating those. Virtual classrooms are usually a classroom setting on an online interface, where students engage in interaction, discussions, clarifications, and even do group work or presentations through an online platform. Hence, the term ‘virtual.’ VR is the use of simulation-based experiences that help the student to experience and respond based on virtual sensory perceptions, especially while learning about animals in their natural habitats. Both these techniques create a more interactive learning experience in cases of geographical or logistical limitations.
For a more personalized learning, many devices have been made available for students, ranging from tablets and mobile phones to personal memory drives to save and access large files. The use of e-textbooks and e-notes are now more common than tablets. Many schools simply update homework and other school-related assignments online through their students’ personal accounts created at the time of joining the school. This has also reduced the age-old problem of carrying heavy bags.
Seizing the trend and convenience of creating applications for various purposes, schools, NGO’s, and governments have now come up with digital learning apps that support and guide regular students and students with special needs. A number of startups and companies have even been established dedicated to such work. And there are a countless number of such apps that cater to almost any subject or topic through videos, related links, and other fun methods of explanation. They also provide a space for discussion for further queries with qualified subject-appropriate teachers through virtual classrooms or even with their own school teachers if the app is designed by the school.
To make all these facilities convenient and help newbies accept the new measures, a number of volunteers and trainers have made it their calling to train students, parents, teachers, school authorities, governing bodies, and the general public to see the developing vision of education in the country. Some, however, are still hesitant and even unaware of a digitally empowered nation, making these volunteers’ calling a stronger one.
The Outcome of a Digitally Empowered Classroom
With the introduction of a highly interactive learning atmosphere and the provision of educational experiences beyond environmental and logistical barriers, absenteeism and the rate of school dropouts have reduced. Such problems, usually triggered by gender and societal issues, have considerably been checked with the help of virtual learning spaces.
On a broader perspective, a greater vigor and interest in learning has developed among children that will want them to ask, clarify, and explore more on various topics that are often shown through still pictures or dull diagrams. This has led to a greater retention of learned material building higher levels of confidence among them to do better in academics or even pursue other interests, widening their grasping power or skills.
Where are Digital Classrooms Going?
Digital classrooms are leading students onto a steep rise towards a holistic education. As this often involves engaging the students through cultivating a stronger appetite for gaining a lively experience, learning has never been made so fun and constructive for a more relevant life.
Jain Heritage School (JHS), has been consistently trying to converge some of these digital means to provide their students with a wholesome schooling exposure equipping them with a more informed attitude.