Over a decade ago, many high demanding jobs and the drive for globalization and digital transformation were created. Society quickly understood during the COVID-19 pandemic the importance of the advancement of technology and its benefits. Digital transformation and ways to improve them was thrust into the limelight as the entire workforce moved towards remote working. Integrating technology into education became vital in ensuring classrooms ran, and the children received the necessary education while staying at home. Digital learning was no longer limited to part of extracurricular activities or the crisis management tool.
In this post-pandemic era, educators have to create online content that would encourage students to be part of the process. One aspect that became a pressing concern for many is that every school, district and student didn't have the resource like Internet connectivity, laptop, PC, or a smart device at home to be engaged with this online education system. It is pretty apparent that, at times, students who have struggled with learning in a face-to-face environment can further struggle in such a remote learning process.
Despite the challenges posed by digital learning in the early education system, there are quite a lot of opportunities. This article will give a quick overview of the opportunities and challenges in digital learning for early education.
Opportunities In Digital Learning
The main criteria in digital learning in early education is to create opportunities for both teachers and students. In early learning, digital technology should mitigate the challenges often faced by teachers and students. Furthermore, the administration should ensure the teachers have the competency to conduct the education through the digital platform while the students have the benefit of accessing information quickly.
Enhanced communication and collaboration
The digital learning platform fosters are better communication and collaborative attitude among the students and teachers. Online lessons and even gamifying the teaching process allow students to have a collaborative approach towards studying and problem-solving. While one-on-one interaction with the teacher is possible with the digital platform, students from home can also upload their homework within a stipulated time while giving the teacher the time to assess the assignment anywhere and anytime.
Personalizing the learning process
With a digital platform, a student has access to educational resources round the clock. On the other hand, teachers can devise their study materials and the teaching process based on their strengths and interests. Since different students have different learning approaches and practices, the data gathered from the classroom enables the teacher to identify the activities that students struggle with. Furthermore, these data can be used by the teacher and the administrators to curate a better study plan and offer personalized help to struggling students.
Creating engaging content
Curiosity is the key to making a student interested in a topic or a subject. By creating engaging content, the teacher can quickly spark inquisitiveness. Often teachers can use videos and podcasts to produce interesting content and develop assignments that encourage students to investigate further about the topic instead of just limiting their knowledge to the books.
Improving teacher's productivity
Leveraging technology is one of the best ways for teachers to improve their productivity. The teachers can use the data gathered from offering digital learning to create new learning opportunities for the students. It can also be used to offer increased engagement and support while personalizing the instruction method for the students.
In the long run, digital learning in the education system can quickly reduce the cost associated with physical instructional materials.
Challenges With Digital Learning In Early Education
Though there are quite a few new opportunities created by digital learning, there are particular challenges in the area.
Lack of self-discipline
Since no teachers observe them while they are part of the remote classroom, it is easier for students to skip assignments and classes. It is not possible to discipline them virtually as there are no deterrents. Hence, both the teachers and the students need to implement organizational tools to help with self-discipline.
Lack of social interaction
The social energy of a physical classroom, the lunch break get together is, and returning home together allow students to learn a lot of valuable introduction lessons lost in the digital learning platform. The classroom's in-person dynamic is hard to capture on a digital platform; hence, a forum must be set up outside the course where students and teachers can collaborate on other issues apart from studies.
While most of us take it for granted that this generation is reasonably equipped with the digital platform and it is in-house, we need to be aware that many do not have the benefit of this technology. Hence, course material on the digital platform must be user-friendly enough to be downloaded, printed, and used by even the first generation of mobile users. Technology doesn't come without challenges, and the teachers and administrators need to be aware of that and develop digital learning in a manner that would benefit everyone.