Are you using software and devices as part of your regular classroom? This is no longer the stuff of science fiction and the future. The digital classroom is where the conventional classroom merges into a digital space. The use of technology is pervasive in the digital classroom. Technology helps get easy access to learning resources and networks, making learning easier for teachers and students alike. This article will discuss what makes a digital classroom different from a traditional one and its advantages and disadvantages.
Difference between Traditional and Digital Classroom
1. Space: The spaces available in a digital classroom are flexible. They can be fixed, open, closed, mute, responsive, or anonymous. A digital classroom takes up both physical and digital space. A digital classroom has the potential to be entirely personalized for each student. It can also help them connect with peers, content, and audience. Sometimes, this can be a distraction.
2. Technology Integration: The technology used carves a superior learning experience for students. A digital classroom integrates several apps like YouTube, Facebook, live streaming platforms, MOOCs, various operating systems, etc. The technology used never stops changing.
3. Workflow: In a traditional classroom, the workflow is fairly standard. There is a back and forth between the teacher and the student. For example, the teacher offers an explanation or assigns work, the student completes the work and hands it back. The workflow slightly differs in a digital classroom. The student has more channels to interact, and the timelines are more flexible. For instance, the student submits the assignment through Google Drive. They may ask certain questions before the class while personally addressing specific doubts in the online environment. This flexible workflow gives teachers a greater opportunity to interact and critically evaluate student work.
4. Data: The data used in a digital classroom is crucial in providing the right feedback and personalizing learning. Yes, data is also generated in traditional classrooms. However, the digital classrooms provide more visual, recent, and accurate data which is up-to-date.
5. Feedback Loop: The process of feedback is pretty simple in a traditional classroom. The teacher corrects the assignments and then gives the student oral or written feedback. However, there is a provision in a digital classroom where the student can receive feedback after every input. Hence, it helps the students know how to improve in a detailed way with instant and step-by-step feedback. Students can use this feedback to set the pace of their learning.
Advantages of a Digital Classroom
1. Learning Skills: A digital classroom helps students develop effective learning skills. Apart from learning new content, students can use the apps and tools to enhance their technical skills and reasoning in a digital classroom. They can also find information on any topic at hand and do not rely on printed textbooks alone.
2. Engagement: Digital classrooms make learning more engaging and fun. Students can indulge in fun activities independently and in groups, with a smoother engagement than in a traditional classroom. Students may speak up, use reaction buttons, write to each other or give peer feedback through comments. They can access audiovisual content, read better with text to speech software and get immediate feedback through their digital learning material.
3. Customized Learning: Digital classrooms also help customize the learning experiences for each student. There is differentiated content delivery catering to the student's individual needs. Parents can actively track their child's progress and collaborate with the teacher through this technology-friendly format.
4. Becoming Future-Ready: The digital classroom is closer to the real world than a traditional classroom, which often seems like a disconnected bubble. Learning in a digital classroom helps the children get more experience for their jobs in the future. It provides a problem-solving-based education, which helps deal with practical problems. It helps train the students for the real world.
A digital classroom is a great addition to a physical classroom, but moderation is essential. While digital classrooms allow students to think outside the box and prepare them for the real world, it also leads to burnout. You just have to make sure to choose the right online teaching app. Sustaining the personal teacher-student relationship even in a digital classroom environment can maximize its usefulness.
The idea of a digital classroom is not to get rid of the teachers but to make their work easier by collaborating with them and taking the traditional techniques one step higher. With the help of technology, the teacher can design a flexible learning environment for the students and make them creative. Hence, digital classrooms are a great collaborative initiative to the existing traditional classroom.