Do universities need to keep the digital skills gap in mind while educating?
A big, gigantic YES!
With the amount of time youth spends online; the need to digitize education becomes even more crucial.
Education worldwide has reached a phase like never before. Technological advancement has paved way to a whole new world of learning. Now, students and educators have access to knowledge anywhere, anytime. Digital and online resources have made learning a fun and interactive task.
While the education system across the globe is turning their head towards the digitization era, employers need students completing higher education to match the standards.
The digital revolution has brought about use of computers, mobile devices and more, to compliment the age-old learning ways. With these, one is able to get information from any part of the world, at any time of the day.
How better could technology influence education?
Educators and teachers must also see digital and online tools as a stimulant to their teaching ways and not just a resource. Digital classrooms could provide an avalanche of tools in the form of digital libraries, smart-boards, online lesson plans, book readers, digital interactive quizzes and activities.
In a survey conducted in 2012-2013, it was found that 87% teachers worldwide felt, using digital tools in education affects the creativity, digital skills, motivation and independent learning of a student (of course on a positive note).
The benefits of using digital and online resources in higher education are many. I have listed some of them here:
Digital classrooms and use of online resources have made knowledge more accessible from anywhere in the world. It is just a matter of some clicks and taps and you get almost anything on the world-wide-web. Coming out of the-pen-and-the-notebook phase has more benefits to it. Both educators and students have access to all the resources in just a few clicks.
Use of World Wide Web in any sphere of life is a common thing; for now, instead of telling someone to search the internet, we tell them to ‘Google it’.
Now, one doesn’t have to look for handwritten notes or find a textbook to get the right information at the right time. This is one of the main benefits of using digital textbooks.
While information on textbooks and lectures remain on a pause for a year, online resources get updated with latest news and information every second. These materials are up-to-date and relevant to the current time. Digital textbooks update the resources with the latest news and information required by a student.
It is evident that students use textbooks with outdated content, with information lacking relevance to the current time.
Digital education is not all about downloading reading material from the internet! It something that lets you dive into the ocean of knowledge and gather anything that is required, at any time.
Use of online resources needs internet connection and introduction of digital classrooms at places with scarcity of internet access may be a drawback to this great idea. However, new technologies facilitate use of these digital solutions without the need of a high speed continuous internet connection. Now, there are digital solutions that do not necessarily require an internet connection all the time and can be used offline.
Matter-of-factly, we must say that digitizing education not only improves the impact of it on the students, but it also prepares them for a technologically progressive world ahead of them.
To draw a clincher, digital textbooks and other such devices have created a revolution in the field of education. Moreover, they save papers and are friendly to the environment.Tags: Digital Classrooms, Digital Learning, digitization, Education in Kenya, higher education, mElimu, mobile devices, tablets