Technology has changed every aspect of our lives. With the advent of cheaper and more efficient options, its impact is only set to increase. Technology has also changed the learning and teaching process to a great extent.
Digital mediums have enhanced the way we learn, and taken learning from a closed classroom to a more collaborative and open environment. The traditional role of a teacher as the primary provider of information is changing, with students now proactively gathering knowledge resources and the teacher becoming more of a mentor. Due to its ease of use, visual appeal, and mass-scalability, technology can overcome many limitations of traditional learning. Below are a few types of digital learning resources that are truly making an impact:
Simulations and Models
Digital simulation techniques can be very useful to explain real life scenarios or phenomenon to learners. Using preset models on various subjects, trainers can demonstrate their intricacies to the entire classroom. A simulation offers a visual guide that breaks up complicated concepts and allows learners to study closely its cause and effect. Simulations are usually equipped with interactive controls and activities. Learners can vary any parameters in specific models and see real time changes in the outcome. This practical application clears up concepts unlike anything else.
Graphics and Animations
Many difficult concepts cannot be conveyed with enough clarity through plain text or speech. More innovative and visually appealing modes of transferring knowledge are required, like graphics or videos. Using easy-to-use software, anyone can create a meaningful infographic or animation, to convey a difficult subject easily. A subject that spans tens of pages can be covered within a matter of minutes, through an animated video. Learning through the visual medium also increases the retention rate and makes the subject more fun. Videos and graphics also have a high sharing potential, which enables the knowledge to reach a wider audience.
Quizzes and Games
The ways to test subject knowledge have changed with technology. Interactive quizzes and epistemic games have taken the lead roles in evaluating people. These methods strike the right balance between creating interest and being comprehensive enough to cover the entire subject of test sufficiently. Since they are in a digital format, these can modified as per the situation and the target audience. They can also move away from the traditional question-answer format and bring innovative ways to test knowledge. The digital format also makes immediate assessment possible and can derive a wide range of additional data such as the effectiveness of the course, capabilities of the trainer, etc.
E-Books and E-notes
Textbooks and paperbacks are rapidly being replaced by their digital counterparts. Low costs and the ease of carrying them around make them hugely popular among learners. E-books are also easily sharable and can be accessed almost anywhere. Also, e-books are not just restricted to reading materials; tablets and laptops have replaced notebooks in the classroom as well. Learners not only can take notes but also record lectures by video or audio for future references. They can click pictures of important visuals and refer to them at a later time. Due to the advancement of Internet, all this material is synced with all devices simultaneously, allowing learners to stay in touch with a topic, at their convenience.
The inclusion of digital mediums has inevitably caused the learning process to become an open space. Learners can be more involved in the entire process using various digital resources. Using social media, they can start discussions to increase their understanding or seek answers. Flipped classrooms inculcate the habits of self-learning, while virtual instructor-led training can significantly lower the learning cost and reach a wider audience. Digital resources are shaking up the very foundation of traditional learning and leaving the boundaries of time zones, flawed teaching, and budgets behind, making learning a truly global affair.
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