Digital Transformation can help improve learning experiences in schools by making them more engaging, rewarding, and equal. The aim of educators should always be to equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to pursue success beyond graduation – to ensure that they become valuable members of society who can contribute to it and their peers in the short and long term. This is made increasingly possible with affordable digital transformations.
The Change and Challenge of Technology
Microsoft released a comprehensive Education Guide exploring this. With the help of dozens of researchers across the globe, it was found that digitally driven education programs can improve the literacy, collaboration, and problem-solving skills of students as young as grade four. However, common challenges appeared across multiple campuses, such as a misunderstanding of technology and an inability to track student progress, which can result in digital programs being phased out altogether instead of tailored to suit a specific campus’ needs.
Co-founder of the Anywhere Anytime Learning Foundation, Bruce Dixon, says that “transformation is about more than technology. The goal is to enable a complete re-imagining of learning, anytime, anywhere, and to be ruthless in studying and adjusting when and how technology makes things better.”
The truth about technology in the digital age is that it is everywhere. Regardless of whether schools implement digital solutions or not, students will be engaging with it anyway. The key to overcoming the challenges and expectations associated with digital environments is to evaluate its impact. Because change is so rapid, many classrooms continue to apply traditional learning methods through modern technology, rather than taking a modern approach that is more directly applicable to modern students. Indeed, for every change in technology, there is a challenge for schools. For every step forward, a campus will face a new complexity or risk that they need to overcome. So, how do schools overcome these changes and challenges?
Answering the Question with a Question
Albert Einstein once said, “if I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask; for once I know the proper question, I could solve this problem in less than five minutes.” The same applies to schools – minus the five minutes, it will generally take a bit longer to find and implement an appropriate digital strategy. Yet, the fundamentals are the same – if schools are to overcome the challenges and changes associated with modern technology, they must approach these challenges and changes from the right angle. They must answer ‘what digital transformation look like in our school?’ by asking ‘what do we want, need, and expect from digital transformation in our school?’ This will save them valuable time, money, and resources – helping ensure student success, and not merely trying to get students to engage with content. There are two common ways that schools can begin this journey:
- One-to-One Learning: By providing students with a fully functionallaptop or tablet, digital transformation can begin to occur. In fact, this is a proven and effective model for transformation in schools around the world as it allows for anywhere, anytime learning, improved collaboration, and a better ability to track and monitor student progress.)Laboratory Learning: Schools can provide a ‘class set’ of laptops or tablets to support learning, especially for students in lower grade levels. This allows teachers to limit the time spent working with technology without removing it completely.
Of course, the limits of digital transformation in school are not limited to two methods. There are a multitude of ways to begin depending on a school’s budget, their existing infrastructure, expectations, student ages, long and short term goals, and much more. Every day we see proof that technology is changing education – whether we like it or not. It is vital for schools to embrace new learning experiences and approaches to schooling, and to get involved with the evolution that will shape the lives of their students and those who come after them.