Digital learning is learning that is supported by technology. [1] It encompasses any type of learning that is accompanied by technology or by instructional practice that makes effective use of technology. It includes a wide array of practices, including blended and virtual learning.

A variety of names began to be used to denote education conducted using various technologies; these include online learning and e-learning. As an example of how confusing this had become Singh and Thurman (2019)[2] identified 46 definitions for online learning. The name 'digital learning' has gained popularity as a way to encompasses the aforementioned concepts and others.

The scope of Digital learning is wide, including any teaching strategy or resource that involves technology.

Online learning edit

Online learning involves learning using the internet. Commonplace is for learners to learn using a Learning Management System, which provides teaching resources online. A number of companies provide such systems for educational institutes to use allowing learners to study online. A number of private companies offer online teaching provision including coursera and udemy

Implications of COVID-19 on digital learning edit

Although Covid-19 is often discussed in reference to its negative effects on society, some would argue that it acted as a catalyst for the digital transformations in education.[3] On the other hand, other researchers argue that the investments directed towards acceleration of digitalization during the pandemic were obsolete for the digital transition in education, with the existence of some exceptions.[4]

Nevertheless, some sources argue that learning digitally from home created some positive trends. The presence of new learning technologies may have contributed to a diminished spreading spread of the virus.[5] Outside of health related effects, e-learning enabled students to continue their studies even in unprecedented global conditions.[6]

It is important to note that while some state that the level of knowledge increased during the pandemic,[6] others state that students did not necessarily comprehend the subjects taught online.[7]

Developments of AI in context of digital learning edit

In November 2022, OpenAI launched ChatGPT, and since then competitors have followed with similar tools which have affected education and learning in several ways. Along with being easily accessible and always available, they are capable of answering specific questions beyond the capabilities of previous search engines, making learning more personalized.[8] Hence, many argue that in some ways interactive tools can contribute positively to overall learning.[9] On the other hand, critics claim it may lead to an overreliance on AI, since students may be tempted to rely solely on the answers of AI, rather than applying their own critical thinking.[10] Additionally, the quality of the information provided by AI chatbots has been criticized. AI has been shown to vary in answer reliability, which highlights the need to verify information obtained through such platforms.[10]

mLearning edit

mLearning or M-learning is where education is provided via a mobile phone device. The advantages are that learners can learn while on-the-go. However, the material that can be presented is limited and this format is considered best for short targeted learning.[11] Through the use of mobile technologies, learning while travelling is possible.

Webinars and Video-conferencing edit

During the COVID-19 pandemic much teaching was done online using video-conferencing technology such as Zoom (software). Such technology allows the provision of teaching virtually, with learners able to watch educators.

Virtual Reality edit

Virtual Reality allows students to undertake virtual field trips and make educational experiences that would not otherwise be possible.

Pedagogies that incorporate digital learning edit

Digital learning is meant to enhance the learning experience rather than replace traditional methods altogether. Listed below are common pedagogies, or practices of teaching, that combine technology and learning:[citation needed]

Pros of digital learning edit

  • Digital learning has many beneficial outcomes, one of which is the student’s ability to work at his/her own pace. With assignments being online students can decide when they want to complete them. If they work best in the morning, they can do them in the morning. On the other hand, if they work best in the evening, they can complete the assignments in the evening. Without having the stress and time limitations of being in a classroom, they can take as long or as little time as they need. This allows them to understand the concept and retain the knowledge fully.
  • Digital learning offers many environmental benefits. Online education relies strictly on digital documents, therefore reducing paper waste and the amount of trees cut down. Studies show that using ebooks as opposed to traditional textbooks would save more than 28,000 trees per million books.[12] Another environmental benefit of digital learning is that it reduces transportation. Completing assignments online as opposed to commuting to class reduces carbon dioxide emissions in the environment by about 148 pounds each semester.[13]  

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Walker, Mark David (28 December 2023). Digital Learning: How modern technology is changing education (1 ed.). Sicklebrook Publishing. ISBN 9781446620724.
  2. ^ Singh, V (2019). "How many ways can we define online learning? A systematic literature review of definitions of online learning". American Journal of Distance Education. 33: 289-306. doi:10.1080/08923647.2019.1663082.
  3. ^ Mospan, Natalia (2023-01-01). "Digitalisation of writing in higher education: the COVID-19 pandemic impact". Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice. 20 (2). doi:10.53761/ ISSN 1449-9789.
  4. ^ Cone, Lucas; Brøgger, Katja; Berghmans, Mieke; Decuypere, Mathias; Förschler, Annina; Grimaldi, Emiliano; Hartong, Sigrid; Hillman, Thomas; Ideland, Malin; Landri, Paolo; van de Oudeweetering, Karmijn; Player-Koro, Catarina; Bergviken Rensfeldt, Annika; Rönnberg, Linda; Taglietti, Danilo (2021-09-01). "Pandemic Acceleration: Covid-19 and the emergency digitalization of European education". European Educational Research Journal. 21 (5): 845–868. doi:10.1177/14749041211041793. ISSN 1474-9041.
  5. ^ Horgan, Denis; Hackett, Joanne; Westphalen, C. Benedikt; Kalra, Dipak; Richer, Etienne; Romao, Mario; Andreu, Antonio L.; Lal, Jonathan A.; Bernini, Chiara; Tumiene, Birute; Boccia, Stefania; Montserrat, Antoni (2020-09-17). "Digitalisation and COVID-19: The Perfect Storm". Biomed Hub. 5 (3): 1–23. doi:10.1159/000511232. hdl:10807/186769. ISSN 2296-6870.
  6. ^ a b Patra, Sudhakar; Sahu, Kabita Kumari. "Digitalisation, Online Learning and Virtual World". Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Research: 45–52.
  7. ^ Samuel, Anusha; G., Gideon; D., Viswanath Reddy; Devi, Uma (2021-09-01). "A Study on Impact of Digitalisation on Higher Education during Covid Crisis: International Journal of Recent Research Aspects". International Journal of Recent Research Aspects. 8 (3): 14–17.
  8. ^ "What are the Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence in Education?". eSchool News. 2024-02-05. Retrieved 2024-04-23.
  9. ^ "ChatGPT is going to change education, not destroy it". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2024-04-23.
  10. ^ a b Bailey, John (2023-08-08). "AI in Education". Education Next.
  11. ^ Santiago, C (2018). "Advantages and Disadvantages of M-Learning in Current Education". 2018 IEEE World Engineering Education Conference (EDUNINE): 1–6. doi:10.1109/EDUNINE.2018.8450979. ISBN 978-1-5386-4889-6.
  12. ^ "How Online Education Makes Campuses Greener". Colorado State University Online | Blog. 2020-04-22. Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  13. ^ Nielsen, Jess (2021-11-07). "6 Environmental Benefits of Online Learning That Will Blow Your Mind". Sustainable Business Toolkit. Retrieved 2022-11-30.