Digitech and education must go hand in hand in the new millennium, especially amid challenging and changing times. For instance, In Part 1, we tackle its effects on information, communication, and mass media. In Part 2, we look into its effects on business and society. In this third part, we will delve into its effects on education.
During the pandemic, schools shifted online to preserve human lives. Students and their parents had to go through immediate adjustments as schools closed its physical doors to adhere to social distancing measures. Only a few countries in heavily-affected areas kept their schools open, eventually caving in and shifting online as the pandemic worsened.
There is nothing good about the pandemic, but the education industry’s resilience is worth noting during this crisis. It is because digital innovations continue to pave the way to modernizing modalities in the education sector. This makes the education sector competitive in the modern digital era.
Let us see the effects of Digitech on education to appreciate all the innovations that enable schools and students to thrive amid changing and challenging times.
Technology Redefines Learning
Recent statistics say that around 16% of children in the age bracket of 8 to 11 years old own five or more multimedia devices. 72% of those in the 12 to 15-year-old age bracket have three or more multimedia devices. This means that around 51% of homes with a child or children between 3 and 15 have a tablet or some mobile device.
This has both positive and negative implications. Parents and guardians need to be mindful of the right age when they let their child or children use mobile devices, but digital innovation becoming a staple part of our lives is unavoidable.
No matter where you look, children and teens are using technology increasingly as devices are becoming more accessible. We can leverage this to good use.
We can use technology to enhance classroom teaching, learning, and efficiency efficiently. It gives today’s students access to information they did not have from past students. At their fingertips, technology has made knowledge readily accessible to students. Applications that are important and useful enable students to be more interested in learning and the learning environment.
A video by Tedx Talks shows how valuable innovations are to education.
Video by Tedx Talks © 2016
7 Effects of Digitech on Education:
Most schools are using emerging technology such as smart whiteboards, laptops, cell phones, iPads, projectors, and the Internet to raise learners’ confidence.
In subjects like mathematics, Physics, Biology, Geography, Economics, and the like, visual learning proves to be the strongest way of learning. Many educational technologies and learning platforms that allow students and teachers to share academic information can be used by teachers and their students, thereby increasing learning mobility.
Students of all ages and abilities can obtain and acquire knowledge outside textbooks and classrooms. As the Internet has helped decentralize education, homeschooling and other alternative and distance learning methods have grown in popularity.
Simulation and Modeling:
Software for simulation aims to bring actual activities that would be difficult to see without technology to the classroom. Students can see celestial motions using specific simulation tools, how a tornado forms, or how dinosaurs lived.
Similar features are provided by modeling software. Instead of the static models used in previous decades, these instruments allow students to see the models’ dynamic features.
Teachers ensure that the students understand the principles and how to use their technical resources. Technology-focused operations involve primarily critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Teachers act as facilitators, giving continuous guidance, allowing students to gain deeper understanding levels.
Digital Technology Applied thru Educational Mobile Apps
Zoom is now the premiere communication app that has helped the world maintain some normal semblance amid the crisis. Classes are now online, and Zoom became a staple for almost every virtual class.
Families use it to work, study, attend religious activities, conferences, and events, and keep in touch with loved ones and friends. Students can stay connected to classmates and teachers. Why is Zoom so powerful? It is a cloud-based video conferencing platform where can host virtual meetings via video conferencing, even with hundreds of participants.
Teachers continued to teach their classes, share lesson plans, and receive instructions through Zoom’s conference rooms. Teachers communicate with students by groups, families, or individually based on the class’s need and mature or the activity.
Above all, teachers can give much-needed support to parents, especially those who have no experience in homeschooling at all. This app comes in free and paid. You can have unlimited one-on-one meetings and 40-minute group meetings in the free version. Zoom continues to be a part of homes and offices in the months to come. As the world is still under recovery from the pandemic, working from home and studying from home will be the new norm.
It currently serves over 90,000 schools in over 20 countries. Their daily meeting participants grew from 10 million last year to 200 million this year Zoom, which presently has 200 million regular meeting participants.
Even before the pandemic, I have been using this app. I noticed the big difference before and after the privacy issues came out. You need a meeting ID to join a conference call.
It may be cumbersome to have this and other extra layers of security you must go through now before entering a call, sharing a screen, and the like. But it makes the app more secure, which means I can trust that my children will be safe as they use the app too.
Microsoft 365 is still the go-to productivity software. What a convenience that it is now available on mobile devices. It is helpful since not all have multiple devices. Students can work on their reports and projects right on an available mobile device. They can view, share, and edit files without switching between apps. It has Microsoft 365’s applications like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, One Note, and One Drive.
For instance, one Note is a virtual notebook where you can keep all your children’s notes organized per subject or topic. Kids can attach pictures, videos, and links to their notebooks, which regular notebooks cannot do. Parents can do this to organize portfolios or reports. They can print selected pages from their notebooks.
A homeschool portfolio is a form of student record-keeping that tracks the child’s educational progress. It highlights what the child learned, usually in a quarter. It can come with pictures, illustrations, artwork, mind-mapping, and the like to show accomplishments, resources, and how much the child knows the material.
What a convenience because now, parents and children can do electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) right on their mobile device via Microsoft 365. Boost learning with Microsoft 365.
Google Classroom is conveniently part of Google’s G Suite for Education. Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, among other applications, are in this bundle. This software is user-friendly and is great for student and teacher collaboration. Teachers or parents may build a class and post activities, resources, and other comments. I love this app because all of the G Suite apps work best with it.
I created a class per child, per subject, and then I assigned myself as a teacher. You can include any teacher involved in your children’s education. Then I invite my children as students.
If you are teaching many students, you would have to invite them individually. If you belong to a homeschooling coop, for instance, and do group sessions with them, the parents can be the teachers, and the students can be all the children in that coop.
After my children accepted my invitation via Gmail, they can now see posts I make regarding their class. They receive notifications every time I add something to the class, like a new material for discussion, a new task or assignment, quizzes, and the like.
Another way to let someone get into the class is by code. In a group email, a teacher will send the code to all her students via email. Students may also engage in discussion forums or instructor messages (either privately or via group chat) in addition to content, schedules, and assignments.
The G Suite has other suitable apps for learners, such as Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, and more, aside from Google Classroom. Google Classroom can work well for children’s learning with other student information systems and websites. Teachers and learners can build free Google Classroom accounts. Schools need to register with the Google with Education portal, however.
Khan Academy is an entirely free yet high-end curriculum supplier. I have only received a few emails in all the years I have been using it, asking if I would like to donate to the site. Of course, this is not a big deal, because of the kind of help my kids and I have been getting from this website.
But you are free to open an account and use anything that the website provides, even if you do not donate. I respect this commitment to education and learning on the part of the developers of this app.
All teachers and parents have a different account than a student or child.
Khan Academy is renowned for its training activities, educational videos, colorful content, and a unique learning dashboard. In and outside the classroom, this software empowers learners to study at their own pace. This mobile app for classroom education helps to find informative tools for math, reading, writing, science, and more.
The app offers more than 4,300 lesson videos, including math, science, economics, and humanities, either by streaming from the website or downloading for later or offline viewing.
Khan Academy Kids is a free educational smartphone app for young children. Like its counterpart for K-12 students, it aims to make children life-long learners. The app focuses on holistic learning and has core topics such as early literacy, reading, writing, language, math, music, and arts. Creativity and social-emotional skill-building are highlights in their activities.
Via various activities and stories, fun and charming characters lead children. Its original interactive content, also for young children, is very engaging. Khan Academy Kids captivate the interest of children with sports, books, animated videos, games, and imaginative lessons by early childhood education experts (2 years old to 7 years old).
The app is a collaboration between Stanford learning experts from Khan Academy Kids. The materials comply with the Framework for Common Core Principles and Head Start Early Learning Results.
Unbelievably, with Khan Academy Kids, you will also get the standard you get for free from Khan Academy. For uninterrupted learning, you will not see any advertisements on both apps. That is why parents trust the Khan Academy apps as a learning partner in their kids’ learning journey.
Khan Academy also has a comprehensive library for its various subjects, which parents highly appreciate, and more than substantial learning materials. For one thing, I like the app because it is a dynamic curriculum and has resources I can choose from for circle time. Inspired by the subjects and activities, I can jump from what Khan Academy Kids offers to my preschooler’s other activities easily.
For example, I can find other similar videos and activities to help the material if we talked about animals on the app and went through the activities. I appreciate that because Khan Academy Kids already gave me great ideas and materials to launch from, I don’t have to rack up my brains what to do.
CK-12 is an app that delivers concept-based learning and currently serves 134 million users globally. It aims to let students learn for free in their own way. It helps students and educators from public and private schools and homeschooling families with K-12 education, learning-at-your-own-pace materials, and products.
Flexbooks, Flexbook 2.0, simulations, PLIX, adaptive practice, and more are included in its offerings. With various learning management systems (LMS) such as Google Classroom, Edmodo, Schoology, Canvas, Kiddom, Clever, and ClassLink, it works well. As an option, CK-12 can be added to Google Chrome as well.
Math, Science, English, Social Studies, and more are among the topics they study. Different translations are available, such as Spanish, Korean, German, Chinese, Greek, and Polish. Everything’s still 100 percent free on the app and website.
CK-12 is sponsored by the CK-12 Foundation. It is a non-profit organization for educational institutions, students, and teachers worldwide that produces and curates superior quality STEM content.
Kids Academy has a learning-through-play approach that incorporates advanced adaptive technology, artificial intelligence ( AI), gamification, and custom learning. The app has over 5000 Math, Science, Language Arts, Reading, and Social Studies learning events.
The activities include educational games, animations, printable worksheets, flashcards, interactive songs, and puzzles. Through this educational mobile app, parents can track the growth, abilities, talents, and areas of their children where kids may need extra help.
ABCmouse.com is a completely online program covering topics such as Reading, Math, Science, and Arts & Colors for children 2 to 8 years old. With more than 850 lessons across 10 stages, there are step-by-step learning routes. It also motivates the child to do well at all levels as a Tickets and Rewards System and go with anticipation to the next one.
It has over 9,000 individual learning experiences for early learners to create a solid base of knowledge. For example, with preschool alphabet games, art games, number games, and shapes games, its games for preschoolers 3 years old and above teach sounds, numbers, and shapes.
The games come with voice guidelines, so for early learners who have a short attention span, it is really child-friendly and engaging.
Duolingo makes languages simple and enjoyable to understand. With more than 30 languages to learn, it is a free app. Gamification comes with every lesson that promises personalized learning, instant grading, and a system of rewards.
Each lesson, fully free, takes just about five minutes each day. If you upgrade to Duolingo plus, without interruption, you can learn ad-free. Duolingo is also now available for schools for classroom use.
For kids 2 to 8 years old, LingoKids is a language smartphone app. It offers to learn through play and tries to bring families together with learning fun.
The power of fun is put into this app by this Lingo Ludic Form. The LingoKids app has a program based on vocabulary. It encourages children to develop modern-day skills such as imagination, environmentally sustainable activities, critical thinking, teamwork, diversity, and inclusion through innovation.
Conclusion: Digitech Boosts the Education Sector
Digital technologies keep redefining societies radically, including the education sector. Not all institutions and educators were ready for the pandemic’s effects on the education system. This points the spotlight on the sector’s readiness to face the challenges and changes of the times.
Definitely, the education sector needs to catch up with the rest of the digital world. Through Digitech solutions taking center stage during the pandemic, it is going to be an exciting track ahead.
Just these educational mobile apps, for instance, help families cope and thrive in homeschooling and maintain the quality of children’s educational journey.
Even if kids are under lockdown, they do not have to be stuck. Digitech can even open a greater part of the world to them and soar despite these unusual times. There is no limit to what students can learn if the educational sector and educators keep an open mind and dynamic attitude towards education in the new millennium.