02 June 2015

Digital education: Going beyond the traditional walls of the classroom

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There was time when going to University meant stepping into a dauntingly large room lined with tables and chairs where you were expected to frantically take notes on your notepad whilst listening to your lecturer. This is still true to a large extent however we live in an era that challenges the traditional learning models that Universities and other tertiary providers use. Like the corporate sector, universities are not immune to the ever-evolving waves of technological revolution.

Australian universities have done relatively well in adapting and incorporating digital learning. For example, late last year and article featuring Jeff Murray, CIO of The University of Tasmania mentioned that their massive open online course (MOOC) on dementia care from the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre was rated one of the most successful and had one of the highest completion rates globally.

Swinburne University of Technology is another university that effectively uses MOOCs via the Blackboard learning management system. Swinburne’s CIO, Derek Whitehead highlighted a key challenge is to ensure that you have systems in place to accommodate large number of students accessing online tools 24/7.

Larry Johnson, Chief Executive of New Media Consortium (NMC) said in an article that “a key contribution of digital technology to education was its unmatched ability to measure how students learned and discover which educational techniques are more successful.”

Larry Johnson is referring to the vital importance of data analytics and its significance in digital learning. The ability to follow student footprints and use it as a source to measure and customise their learning experience is fundamental. Many companies within the corporate sector such as Coles and Amazon have certainly embraced data analytics in terms of tracking their consumers’ footprint and making personalised recommendations on what they should buy next.

In a recent 2015 NMC Technology Outlook report, it was stated that the following key trends are driving the adoption of technology within the education sector in Australia:

  1. Increased use of hybrid/blended learning designs which comprises of balancing the digital and face-to-face teaching/learning models
  2. Redesigning learning spaces to accommodate emerging technologies
  3. Growing focus on measuring learning and using digital analytic's to strengthen the learning experiences of students

Additionally, augmented reality, wearable devices and cloud-based apps have the potential to revolutionise the learning/teaching models in universities around the world. While these new tech-savvy learning models are still in the infant stages and may take years to perfect, the future for digital technology is exciting and the possibilities are endless.

In fact having holograms and holographic displays of your lecturer popping-up in your living room to remind you of a deadline or to explain the basic principles of accounting or psychology isn’t too far from reality!

When Aranei was seven she truly believed she could one day train turtles in the Galapagos. Unfortunately she came to the realization that such a thing could never happen. A couple of years later, she decided to be a conference producer and has never looked back. The best part of her role is exploring different sectors and getting in-depth insights from thought leaders and well-experienced specialists from varying sectors.          

1 comment :

  1. Digital Education becomes the need of every business to promote it and to make it a brand.