Schools have made incredible strides when it comes to adopting digital technologies to improve education outcomes. However, many educators have yet to realise the full value of their digital investments, and it is becoming evident that many schools have not realised the value of digital in education.
Seeing Value in Technology
A recent study from Project Tomorrow showed that 86% of teachers and 93% of principals saw improved engagement as the most significant outcome of technology in the classroom, instead of stronger indicators of student success like deeper learning experiences or improved student outcomes.
Schools may not be able to see the value of digital learning experiences or think that there are too few transformational uses of technology to justify their use in schools. The issue here is that educators in this mindset are viewing technology as a means to mirror traditional learning, rather than to evolve upon it. It is difficult to showcase the value of an investment under these circumstances, as the goal of Digital Transformation has not been to transform learning, but simply to follow a trend.
In the schools where Digital Transformation is the most successful, educators have clearly demonstrated and articulated the goals they associate with technology. They have outlined strategies to use digital devices to support student-driven learning experiences, improve administration, and boost collaboration, communication, and creativity amongst students and teachers across campus – and beyond.
Finding Value in Insights
The study from Project Tomorrow suggests that students are increasingly requesting access to digital technologies and that the use of digital devices is becoming more common in schools around the globe. 83% of students in middle and high school say they use Google tools every week, and over half take part in weekly online assessments. Only one in five students used digital devices as a primary source of education, and they are rarely going without online tools to facilitate learning, assignments, and submissions.
While teachers report that digital technologies exist to improve engagement, students themselves are showing us that their devices sere to facilitate new learning experiences in a modern market – and that they are coming to expect an increased use in digital technologies, tools, and services as they move forward with their education.
Moving beyond Engagement
This begs the question – how do educators and students get on the same page when it comes to learning and Digital Transformation?
When asked about how technology benefits learning, educators must think beyond engagement alone. As noted, schools where digital transformation is the most successful are those with a clear, defined strategy regarding how technology facilitates learning. This can be done by first understanding how digital technology benefits learning, and how the integration of digital tools and services can transform education – not mirror traditional outcomes. This is critical, as it is this shift from traditional learning that creates success in action for schools.
The best thing educators can do is embrace the evolution of technology and its impact – and benefit – on classrooms. Integration does not need to happen all at once and can occur gradually.