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December 14, 2017

The New Normal: Digital Disruption in the Classroom

MHT Partners  | Education Investment Bank

Gone are the days of dusty chalkboards, mechanical pencil sharpeners and black Mead composition notebooks. In fact, the modern classroom is no longer just limited to SMART boards and projectors. Personal tablets, interactive LCD screens and Chromebooks – just to name a few – are all products on the rise in the 21st century classroom.

The statistics say it all: 76% of teachers believe digital content will replace traditional textbooks within the next 10 years, and 86% of students say they use the internet for schoolwork while at school. Digitalization is undoubtedly revitalizing the classroom and enhancing the learning experience not only for students, but also for teachers.

So, what’s driving digital disruption in the classroom and why are schools and teachers ok with it?

  • Personalized Learning Experience
    Learning is not one-size-fits-all. With technology, students can learn at their own pace through platforms that best fit their learning style. This has paved the way for one-to-one learning devices, with students using individual tablets or Chromebooks to access work and customizable learning content.
  • Accessibility
    Digitalization allows students to learn and teachers to instruct anytime, anywhere. Learning is no longer confined to the six-hour school day, nor restricted to the lecture hall and library. With technology, students can stream videos online, work on assignments and interact with teachers remotely, wherever they happen to be. Furthermore, students and teachers have access to instant information and are not limited by what is available in a textbook. They are able to research on the spot, with access to the most up-to-date news and information.
  • Student Engagement
    Hands on, interactive learning is a proven approach to boosting student performance, and technology has made this easier than ever before. Through videos, apps or games, there are many tools that make learning fun and interactive for students. Technology also fosters group learning environments, with students working together to solve problems on interactive screens or iPads.

It’s misleading to assume digitalization is not without some real disruptions – technology can be distracting and expensive, no doubt. However, the end result is a classroom environment that is student centric and collaborative. With technology in the classroom, the teacher becomes a guide and coach, instead of a lecturer at the front of the room.

This marks only the beginning of digitalization in the classroom. Some schools are already exploring other emerging technologies, such as taking virtual field trips to Easter Island via AR/VR or learning about geometry via 3D printers. The possibilities are endless.
Either way, one thing is certain – digitalization is one disruption that students, teachers and parents can all get behind.

Deloitte; Connected Nation
Photo Credit: SMART Tech
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