Students all over the world are witnessing the revolution of the digital classroom. In just a few short years from now, experts predict that technology will change the face of education so much that it will not look anything like the way that students learn currently.
People who are interested in higher education are trying to determine which technologies are expected to aid in the migration from the traditional classroom to the digital classroom. Here’s what they discovered about how learning will evolve away from a physical campus learning environment:
#1. Cloud-Based Processing
Cloud-based processing is one of the most useful tools in digital learning world. When all of the information is hosted in the cloud, you can access your assignments from anywhere in the world as long as you have a web browser and an Internet connection.
This helps you learn at your own pace in any place that you need to go. If you want to go on vacation and complete your assignments during your off-time, you can. If you need to travel for business, you can, and your assignments will still be accessible. Cloud-based processing has significantly improved the digital classroom.
The emergence of podcasts and online distribution of information from professors and other professionals in the industry have also played a role in digitizing information. These podcasts will help you see or interact with a live face that can impart information. If you cannot attend a lecture in a classroom, you can always see the lecture live via podcast.
Podcasts provide a personal connection with another person in the way that a traditional classroom would. Question and answer sessions can be held after class or during the lecture if the podcast session is live. It’s a great way to learn if you cannot leave your home.
#3. High-Bandwidth Wireless Networks
High-bandwidth wireless networks in the home will help online learners with their efforts. They can submit their work faster and search online faster with high-bandwidth networks. As more learners migrate towards the use of eBooks and online homework submittal, an Internet crisis is looming. While public locations and schools are equipped with high-bandwidth networks to handle the crisis, students who try to finish their homework at home will run into a world of trouble.
Only 66 percent of American adults have broadband access at home, but in the future, experts expect this number to be closer to 100 percent. The problem with families that do currently have Internet access is that their connections are not fast enough. Thus, they are unable to complete their homework, which means that more students are turning to printed textbooks again. In the future, when networks are faster, it will be more difficult to convince students to choose printed textbooks over digital ones.
The “Bandwidth Divide” is one of the biggest impediments to the widespread migration towards digital education. Many countries around the world are investing in faster networks to make this an issue of the past.
#4. Repositories of Digital Information
If you need to find information, you no longer need to go to the library. It can all be found online. You can order eBooks online. You can read industry magazines and journals online. Whatever you need to do is possible with an online repository of information. The new digital revolution could not have been possible without the migration of all the information that most people need online.
It’s easier to borrow books from a digital library because you don’t physically have to carry these books across campus. You are not even required to carry textbooks. College students can save their backs and carry only a tablet instead.
#5. Schools Worldwide Migrating to Digital Textbooks
Currently, South Korea is removing all printed books from their curriculum, and Kenya is following their lead. Instead, they will use only digital textbooks in Korean schools. The “phase-out” program is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
The students of South Korea will begin using tablet PCs, laptops, and smartphones to disseminate educational content. The government has revealed that it will spend at least $2.4 billion on the “Smart Education” scheme.
Most of the textbooks will be available in the cloud. Students will not only be able to access the textbooks, but they will also be able to store their homework. This will help schools prepare in advance for dissemination of information to sick students and help students complete their assignments even during inclement weather. In Korea, they’ll be little or no excuse for completing homework.
In an effort to help every student get online, the Korean government will offer free tablets to low-income students. They will also set up Internet access points to make it easier to complete assignments.
Studies have shown that Korean teenagers using computers and the Internet to learn scored higher on tests than students in 19 other countries where this type of education was not used. While this example is not related to a college environment, it demonstrates how educational systems around the world are migrating toward digital education.
Cyberlearning is Now More Acceptable
The Internet was plagued with problems regarding digital education. Accreditation was one of the most common problems, which lead to lack of recognition by top companies. Now, major universities like Columbia University, University of Maryland, and others are offering legitimate online learning. This is why there are so many people are deciding to continue working on their jobs and take online learning classes around their current schedules.
Authors, like, Borgman at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies have discussed this new trend of digital learning in her book Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet. She illuminates how people are learning on the Internet, and her assessment is congruent with the thought that soon we will not need to go to a physical library or any other place to learn what we need or desire to learn.
Now that cyberlearning is more acceptable, you’ll see more people who are comfortable with learning in their own homes rather than learning in a classroom. Learn more about cyberlearning by reading publications and viewing information about the particular programs online.
Images: ”Hands taking photo library with smartphone/Shutterstock.com“
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