What does digital learning look like in today's classrooms?
This blog was written by Avani Yadav, a 15-year old TET-intern from Ressu Comprehensive School. In Finland 9th graders have one week internship in workplaces to learn about real worklife and in Vuolearning we were proud to provide Avani this opportunity.
Today’s classrooms include a lot of technology like computers, iPads and smartboards while teaching. Teaching methods practiced today are very different compared to traditional teaching methods. As a student, I was curious to know how digital learning is shaping education and to hear teachers’ opinions on this change.
So I interviewed teachers from Haukilahti Secondary High School about digital learning and what it looks like in practice. In the recent years there has been a lot of improvement on digital learning materials. I found that the students are provided with digital textbooks and material for every course, and around 75% of the students have chosen to use digital courses. Teachers use digital learning to create interactive online classrooms, where students can interact and collaborate in a digital space.
For example, in biology for lab works they get data from the computer in excel form where it can be examined by making graphs. For languages, teachers provide materials and tasks through digital learning where they have oral exercises, grammar exercises or composition topics. Students can send in various tasks like recordings, interviews, video clips and these functions make learning more interesting for the students. In addition to these, the digital learning system allows you to link videos, listening comprehensions and other sources, making teaching more effective and efficient. Digital exercises can be done by students at their own pace while receiving instant feedback, which saves on time that could be used to deepen students' understanding on certain topics.
Teachers view digital learning as a benefit for the students because it is an easy way to see what the students are actually doing and give them feedback accordingly. This helps focus on difficulties by personalizing learning for students with instant feedback. A big part of digital learning is the increase in collaboration and interactivity between students and teachers. Students and teachers can contact each other online at their own convenience which improves communication.
Learning materials can be made more effective for students, as digital learning provides us with a variety of tools and possibilities. Students can find their own ways to interact and learn, which is easier than what traditional methods could provide. These benefits help improve participation and collaboration. Students use phones and laptops quite frequently and teachers notice that having a digital approach towards learning makes it easier, while giving them more skills and tools to utilize and apply in their studies after secondary high school and in their working life.
A challenging aspect of digital learning is to confirm teachers that digital learning is beneficial, whereas students adapt more easily. Teachers have a large amount of material available, so it is easy to be overwhelmed by all the information. In some cases, there might be some technical issues, so they think that an important feature is simplicity and having a clear understanding about the goal of a certain topic.
In conclusion digital learning improves collaboration, interaction and efficiency in classrooms while preparing students for their future. Teachers recognize that all students learn differently, and by using digital learning methods it makes learning convenient and effective for everyone. They believe that a digital path has a lot to offer and can be beneficial for students while opening a window for new possibilities.
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