The Benefits of Education Going from Paper to Digital
Not so long ago, traditional education dictated the pace at which the teachers could do their jobs, and it wasn’t a very fast one. One of the main culprits for this was the time spent preparing for each class. Without proper resources, teachers were forced to come up with their own materials, type them, copy them and then distribute them around the classroom. And let’s not forget the blackboards, chalk and endless writing and copying, which often didn’t leave enough time for communication between teachers and their students. Fortunately, things have been changing for the better and most schools now have access to digital content that has changed the approach to teaching and learning greatly. Here are some benefits of education becoming digital.
It saves teachers’ time
Preparing for lessons is a process and it’s something that all teachers do, whether they teach in digital classrooms or traditional ones. However, with digital books and study materials which are now available to teachers and students, this process has become significantly shorter. Going paperless doesn’t only save time on typing and printing, but also on reading students’ essays, commenting on them and grading them. Furthermore, if these essays are handed in digitally, via email or the cloud, students get to do them faster as they don’t have to actually write them. This way it’s much easier for students to correct any mistakes or re-do only certain parts of the essays, whereas they would have to be completely rewritten in some cases had the students do them the old-fashioned way. It’s now also easier for teachers to go through the works and point out any mistakes clearly. Finally, this way there’s a digital trail which makes it clear which student handed in their work and exactly when.
It makes communication more straightforward
Before education got digitalized, teachers spent some time in each class explaining to their students what to do or how to prepare for the next lesson, and sometimes crucial bits of information would get lost in communication. Whether the students didn’t understand their teachers clearly, or they simply didn’t listen attentively, the result was usually the same. The work would only be half-done or something important got forgotten. Now teachers can simplify the instructions and upload them for their students so that there are no unclarities in which task is assigned to whom. Also, any parent with a computer can now be involved in their children’s education through administrative software of educational institutions their children go to. For example, the reliable Sentral from Australia created a web-based software which can manage school administration and student-related data, while enabling teachers to better differentiate between students with specific needs, and parents to stay on top of their children’s attendance and academic success.
It provides easier access to study materials
Traditional education relied on textbooks and whatever students wrote down during their classes. With limited time for each class, the access to quality study materials was limited as well. Of course, there were and still are libraries where students can go and find what they need for their exams or papers, but this was also something that took time and a lot of effort. However, the digital era has brought less complicated ways to find the necessary information. From easily accessible data on any given subject to amazing digitalized libraries, searching for key phrases and specific information has never been simpler. This also means less time spent on writing and copying things in class, for both students and teachers, and fewer inconveniences in cases when students are ill or in any other way prevented from attending a lesson since they can now simply find the materials which they need online and study from them.
It changes the roles of learners and teachers
In traditional education, classrooms could be described as a sort of a stage for teachers, where they could give their lessons and act as the main and sometimes only source of information for their students. On the other hand, students were mostly as a simple audience, sitting passively, listening and observing in order to receive the knowledge from their teachers. This frontal type of teaching is something that’s still present in some schools, but due to education becoming digital, things are gradually changing. With unlimited access to information and various online courses, modern students don’t really need this type of lessons anymore. What they do need is somebody to guide them through online resources and to show them the most effective ways to become more involved in their lessons. They are more interactive than in the past, they are trying to take some charge of their own education and sometimes all they need is somebody to point them in the right direction. The best way to enable this is to remodel school premises so that there are more classrooms, but smaller ones. These would have to be equipped with the latest learning technology and students would study in smaller groups, which would also teach them to rely more on one another and to cooperate in order to gain new skills and knowledge.
Technology has proven to be useful in many other fields, so why not in education as well? Both students and teachers seem to benefit from it and if new generations find it more logical, then we should all make the best of it.