Mapping the Path Towards Digital Transformation in Education: Integrating Effective Solutions for Your Organization
The world where education is digital is here. Regardless of whether or not educational facilities jump on board with the digital revolution makes no difference, either. Kids are learning online in the form of games, social media, YouTube, and more. However, The information they are learning does not need to be correct. That’s why educational facilities must integrate digital learning platforms and tools into the curriculum today. This includes teaching topics with a mix of hands-on lessons and digital tools and also teaching digital literacy.
Students today need an upgrade to their education. Without that upgrade, learning is going to take a back seat. The only truth a student will find is in their phone, and it is up to educators and carers everywhere to take advantage of the possibilities that digital learning tools offer, while also better preparing students for the real-world conditions out there on the world wide web.
The map toward digital transformation in education is not straightforward. One school’s approach cannot be what a second institution uses. There are also several barriers to adopting a multi-discipline and multimedia approach towards education, which are outlined in this comprehensive overview.
The Future of Education
Digital learning has already smashed through the market and become a mainstream approach thanks to massive open online course providers (MOOCs). These have democratized education once again and put the power of learning back into the hands of the everyday citizen. Many of the platforms offering these courses operate on a multi-subscription model, with many even offering courses for free, with the exception that you cannot earn a certificate to complete said course until you subscribe to a higher tier.
Online learning itself is a massively growing industry. To put it into perspective, the industry itself has experienced a 900% growth since 2000. A significant chunk of that growth is due to the COVID-19 lockdown, which forced every educational institution to adopt a digital model. Though the approaches used are not perfect, they have paved the way to a new, transformative hybrid educational model for students of all ages.
Ecological and Environmental Benefits of a Digitized Education
Adopting a digital-first approach in education has several benefits, even if students access these digital tools within the classroom, rather than at home. One of the first key benefits is the environmental and ecological benefits. Digital courses, information, and so on can immediately be updated to reflect the latest information year-to-year without the need to print copious textbooks that are typically valid for only that year. These textbooks are also difficult to recycle. The glue used to bind said books cannot be easily pulped, which means that each textbook must be dismantled and then the spine cut off before recycling. This issue applies to all books, meaning that most that get thrown away end up in landfills.
With an estimated third of the trees that are being cut down going towards paper use, cutting down on unnecessary printing is essential.
The Social Benefits of a Digitally Integrated Education
A digitally integrated education can and should include worldwide participation. Key topics can be conveyed to students through specialists from around the world who volunteer their time. Recorded video, and the use of AI and digital design to help enhance the video with graphics and even animations, can help students expand their worldview while also gaining a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the topics at hand.
Digital integration can also improve social connections between students in the existing classroom. So long as a hybrid model is used where students can choose between digital or social communication, all students can shine better.
Improving Spending Through Optimized Organization
Optimizing any facility’s organization is key to improve spending and decrease debt. In institutions that operate on a for-profit basis, it is also essential to widen the profit margins simply by decreasing time and the number of issues faced by educators.
For example, a hybrid approach that integrates technology in the classroom is better suited to ensuring every child learns in a way that suits them best. Some children work better with practical tests, others with watching videos, and so on. By digitizing many of the tools, fewer children can be left behind, simply because they can choose the learning approach that works best for them. Those still unable to keep up with their peers will have greater access to resources.
Organizations that Benefit Most from Digitalized Education Approach
Educational poverty is a leading factor that determines quality of life outcomes in children and adults. This is critical, especially when looking at children with very few at-home advantages, like those in residential care facilities or group homes. These children, in particular, need a nuanced approach to their education in order to combat the trauma and other difficulties they may have developed (like complex PTSD).
Addressing the needs of these at-risk children, even those that come to classroom from group homes, unstable family homes, or those with learning challenges, is essential. That is why a digitized approach to both education and educational organization is essential for these key institutions:
Public schools are the primary means that children learn, and are one of the most critical institutions for digital redevelopment. While a fully digital approach does not provide the same social benefits, integrating digital tools from multimedia to even educational gaming can do wonders for improving multiple areas of educational success.
Private schools similarly need a multi-discipline approach, though theirs will likely be unique to the school based on higher income and funding.
Boarding schools have the combined issues of both educational providers and care providers. Tracking each child through their social, health, and educational milestones is essential to help them succeed in such an environment based on their own merits.
Higher education must also integrate a hybrid approach that provides students with the multimedia benefits of a digitized education, without taking away the social and learning benefits of in-classroom teachings.
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Providers
MOOC providers are creating one of the key leaders in how people learn digitally. These providers create digital-only, online courses, credentials, micro degrees, and even full undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that can be accessed freely online. To put into perspective just how large this sector is, note that the number of MOOCs went from 300,000 back in 2011, to over 220 million in 2021 (and growing since). Like other areas of education, MOOCs grew sharply in popularity due to the lockdowns.
Tutoring is another instance that can be improved through the use of digital integration and tracking. By tracking performance, tutors can showcase results more clearly with parents and use those performance indicators to help motivate their charges. Tracking milestones and other key metrics like time taken to understand new concepts to success rate on test scores can also help tutors identify more nuanced areas of concern that the student themselves may not be able to verbalize.
While care homes are not active educational facilities, they are a prime example of institutions that need to integrate digital monitoring to improve their charges’ educational outcomes. Children in residential care facilities, which are sometimes known as group homes, consistently underperform even in comparison to children in the foster system. A key reason for these issues is a lack of data allowing too many children to slip between the cracks.
By tracking performance and care through an integrated performance system like sue.solutions, care providers can identify issues as they come, and make key adjustments to their care strategy in order to support these at-risk children. Not only will such solutions work to improve the child’s outcome, but they are also an essential tool to help care facilities meet or exceed state requirements for health, safety, and regulation.
With the number of children in such facilities only increasing, the need for a comprehensive digital approach is more important than ever. Many of those children are unaccompanied asylum seekers, meaning that their support needs go beyond what most care and educational facilities can offer on their own. If said child’s school also took a digital approach that offered simple accessibility tools, like closed captions or even subtitled tracks in their native language, a more successful, rounded educational approach can be adopted.
Care facilities play a huge role in educational success and the development of a child. If a child is going to be able to perform well, they need a stable environment, and a support network around them, no matter what circumstances have meant they are placed in a care setting. If a child can have a specific support person who is able to help them with their school work, then they will have the consistent help that they require, and someone who is able to identify their strengths, and where they need additional support from the school.
Established Benefits of a Digitized Learning Environment
Digitized learning environments that not only teach students with hybrid tools, but also track their progress with a data-affirming approach, offer a number of key benefits:
Higher Levels of Engagement
A hybrid approach to education that integrates digital tools can improve engagement in education. This is due to the interactive elements in many digital models. Gamification in particular has been of huge interest in the educational sector due to its ability to engage with students in an educational, fun way. Students can learn more effectively by making learning a joy while engaging in healthy competitive behavior.
One of the most prominent examples of this is with the Assassin Creed games. While the main game is fictional, an educational program within the game allows customers to walk through the recreated historical spaces and learn as they go. Combine such settings with VR which puts students in history in new and innovative ways, and engagement and interest in the subject matters at hand soars.
Interactive media has also been found to be beneficial for children of all ages. Those who are two can benefit from well-designed and age-appropriate television programs that contain an educational lesson. This is particularly true if the program encourages participation, like repetition of words, or even calling out what’s on the screen. An older example of this was with Dora the Explorer, which game children time to answer the questions Dora asked. Studies have shown that interaction and engagement with media, particularly by an adult who is watching along with them, can actually help young children learn and retain information.
Digital resources allow for larger learning methods to be used with fewer resources. Children who learn visually, audibly, and also by doing can all have their needs met and then what they have learned reinforced. Since most learn best with a combination of methods, digital resources are set to be the key to improving literacy and learning rates across the board. Those tools can then also be adaptable. A student can go through a digital program and get their results. If there were areas they didn’t understand, as evidenced by the results, the program can then automatically add more educational content in that area for future lessons, so that everyone learns at their own pace.
Improves Relationship with Learning
Learning should be fun. It needs to be a positive experience in order to cultivate an essential curiosity and passion for learning that drives children to become successful adults.
Faster, Easier, and More Budget-Friendly to Update
Computer programs are faster and easier to update with the latest information. With AI tools, even things like video can be automatically updated with minimal interruption, until new videos can be recorded. What this means is that keeping up with the changing theories and latest discoveries is not only faster, but actually more budget-friendly after the initial upfront costs.
Collaborative learning plays a huge role in childhood development. Multimedia tools can encourage different forms of collaboration that everyone, including those with social anxiety or non-verbal needs, can participate in. Like everything, a nuanced approach that adopts multiple versions of collaborative learning, both in-person and digital, is essential for effective development.
Digital tools can easily be made accessible to give all children, including those with extra physical or developmental needs, thrive. A digital tool can easily be translated or transcribed for those who are either Deaf or still learning English. These tools can also help just by helping educators and carers identify the key areas in which a student is struggling. Not only can a provider understand that one child is suffering in math, but in which kinds of math and what kinds of questions.
Established Benefits of Digitized Organizational Tools
Integrating digital organizational tools also offers top benefits. These tools don’t teach, but they work on translating performance from both children and staff into actionable insight. The aforementioned care agency app is such a tool, for example. These tools need to be used across institutions to:
Track Child Performance
Track Staff Performance
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Challenges Facing Care Home and Educational Organizers Today
There are a few key challenges that educational and care organizations will need to overcome in order to fully adopt such a digitized, hybrid approach. The first is, of course, the high upfront costs. In order to circumvent such costs, more upstart agencies need to develop the tools that schools that can then subscribe to at a lower rate. Grants and even tax breaks are needed by governments in order to encourage further development in these key areas.
Since a digital education typically is designed to carry on at home, access to the internet and digital tools is essential. While up to 88% of students in the United States have access to the internet via a computer, for example, the same cannot be said globally. Globally up to two thirds of the world’s school children have no access to the internet at home. Working on improving these figures is essential to ensure fair access to education in a fully digitized model.
When a new tool is installed, staff must also be fully trained in order to use said tool effectively. This applies to organizational tools and educational software. Without that comprehensive training, the full benefit of a digitized educational approach cannot be realized.
Installing Digital Tools and Multimedia Approaches in Schools
A few key steps must be taken when it comes to effectively installing these digital tools and integrating effective solutions in educational facilities. First, organizational tools must be installed to set a baseline and track performance for both children and staff members. Such tools can help organizers identify key areas of improvement and what tools are essential to begin the digital integration. Low mathematics scores, for example, can be identified as a primary focus, at which point organizers must collaborate with both teachers and carers to help establish an effective strategy. This strategy can include digital tools and how a classroom/homework approach will look with online programs. To succeed in any strategy, full training must be provided for all staff members, students, and even participating parents.