Schools are starting to make the transition to online education. Some schools are even making it mandatory to take at least one online class to graduate.
Digital Learning Day and Hope for the Future of Education
Online education is starting to make its way into the mainstream education system.
What if a few simple changes in our grade schools could better prepare students for their futures? What if students from less privileged backgrounds were able to graduate high school with realistic hopes of continuing their education? Supporters of Digital Learning Day believe that technology has the potential to make these profound differences in our educational system. The day, which took place on February 1, 2012, acknowledged the importance of digital learning in kindergarten through twelfth grade to keep pace with changes in colleges and universities.
Highlights of the Occasion
The day boasted close to 2 million participants, including students, parents, teachers and other community members in 39 states and Washington D.C. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, broadcasted a live National Town Hall meeting over the Internet, and the webcast is now available online. They applauded teachers who strive for creativity. They also stressed the importance of making strides to increase the current 40 percent of k-12 classrooms that report using digital learning.
Examples of Digital Learning
Colleges and universities have incorporated all kinds of novel teaching methodologies into their curricula, and students can practice for college by becoming familiar with some of them.
- Searching for information. Students can surf the net to do research papers and learn about topics that interest them.
- E-books. E-books and e-textbooks give students access to more material instantly, often at lower cost than traditional books.
- Communication: Emails, video chats and the use of social networks is commonplace in college. Students who learn these skills in the supervised environment of grade school have a head start in keeping their communication formal and courteous. They also learn to divulge less personal information.
- Blended learning: This occurs whenever students learn outside of the formal classroom, and may involve smartphone apps and Internet time at home. In college, good grades often depend on additional study outside of just traditional lectures.
- Learning games: Students can compete against themselves, their classmates and virtual opponents in games to learn facts or practice necessary skills. These games are often engaging, and they increase students’ motivation to learn.
Transition to College
The transition from high school to college can be easier for students who are familiar with digital learning. Harder classes, a new environment and different classmates give students plenty to focus on during the first few weeks and months. They don’t need the extra stress of adjusting to brand-new technology for the first time. Students who have practiced innovative learning techniques are more adept at adapting new methods.
Access to College
Directly after high school graduation, many bright and talented young people need to work full-time to support their families. The increase in online learning programs makes higher education a possibility for many individuals who would not otherwise be able to consider it. You can attend online classes from remote locations and on your own schedule.
Digital Learning Day was a celebration and call to action. Participants included students, teachers and other educators, and the overriding theme was the promotion of digital learning in the classroom. These techniques may improve student performance in k-12 by engaging them more fully. This may also enable and encourage students to go to college by finally bringing digital learning within reach.
About the author: Derrick Cruise is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. He specializes in education and technology articles.