How Technology Has Enhanced Distance Learning
Increased adoption and penetration of technology have had an immense impact on various industries. Education is one of the sectors that have positive transformations. From junior schools to higher learning institutions like colleges and universities, everybody can feel the impact of technology.
With Coronavirus disease disrupting all the significant aspects of social life across the globe, schools and the traditional class face-to-face interactions are one of the areas thrown out of their routine.
This challenge brought by Covid-19 has presented a significant challenge to teachers and learners alike. Luckily, technology has advanced enough to offer some hopes on effective learning despite the distance.
In this article, we will discuss in detail how the use of technology has enhanced distance learning.
Table of Contents
What is distance learning?
Distance learning is a form of education in which major elements include the physical separation of students and teachers during the learning processes. It involves the application of various digital or technological solutions to enhance teacher-student and student-student communications.
Distance learning has traditionally focused on non-conventional students like full-time working class, people in forces, or people living in remote areas where they cannot get classroom lectures.
Despite the argument that technology has negatively influenced the students’ learning schedules, distance learning has evolved into an established educational system method, with statistics pointing towards an increasing trend.
Both the institutions and students have embraced distance learning for a good reason. Students benefit from the advantage of studying from wherever they are at any time while institutions reap from admitting students without the need for constructing classrooms and investing in learning infrastructure.
Below are various ways in how technology has helped enhance distance learning globally.
How technology has enhanced distance learning.
Digital Simulations and Models
It’s usually difficult for a student to get and understand a concept in traditional learning, be it distance learning or classroom setup. Through digital simulations and models, learners are able to grasp concepts clearly and understand various subjects, as well as get familiar with the modern world and its wonders. This has enhanced effective learning and better understanding for learners.
Efficiency in conducting assessments.
Not only do the digital simulations and models assist teachers in preparing lessons efficiently, but they also know how their students’ progress, which is very important in learning.
There is no learning without assessment, and you can only be assessed through examination. There are many software’s online for assessment.
For instance, there is available software in which teachers give and receive assessments in real-time of their students. It updates teachers on their students’ records, like the number of assignments they have given out, the amount of time required of the student to complete the tasks, etc. It also helps teachers know whether their students are doing great or not.
There is also software that helps teachers create high-quality exams and quizzes, analyzes the students’ accumulative performance, and can help curb exam cheating. This software has improved online learning hence quality education.
Imagine going through the piles of books looking for just one reference for your assignment or project? How tedious and time-consuming can that be? This is what students used to go through before the emergence of technology. Research has been made easier for students these days because of cloud storage.
With technology, students can save a lot of time when researching. They, therefore, can absorb a lot of data in their projects as well as knowledge. Getting information, acquiring solutions, and results have been made easier thanks to Google.
Learning at One Own Pace and Place
One of the most significant advantages students enjoy when it comes to technology in the education sector is self-paced, self-placed learning. In a class, be it online or face-to-face, there are quick and slow learners. Slow learners who absorb information slowly are now advantaged because through the technology; they can pace up with their fellows. This is due to the online curriculum that is planned precisely for them.
Due to the technology in the distance learning space, students can learn in the comfort of their homes. Whether in their study room, living room, or their backyard within their compound.
Online Groups Collaboration
During this pandemic time, people are advised to follow the WHO guidelines to curb the spread of Covid-19. One of them is to avoid gathering of all nature. The education sector is not left out. There are online collaboration platforms that students can use to discuss, chat, and exchange notes.
Distance learning couples with the emergency of technology allows you to study at any prestigious university of your choice. Regardless of your location, as long as you can access the internet through your device, you are good to go.
Nobody would want to take a full course online, and in the end, don’t get certified. Even before doing final exams, you’ll do projects that add up in your final exams. When doing all these, one is required to sign documents in the process. Thanks to technology, we have electronic signatures that allow one to sign documents remotely. With this, you can be sure of completing a course and getting certified without any problem.
Advancement in technology has witnessed praise and criticism in equal measures; however, like everything else, it can be used for both good and worse reasons.
Regardless of the criticism around technology, it has had very commendable success in the education field. It has helped reduce the cost of education by avoiding too much learning infrastructure while still delivering the quality required in education.
Additionally, technology has a better way of engaging students and increasing the level of their grasp of the hard to understand concepts. This interactive learning model further stretches the students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Distance learning is not a scam. Due to technology, one gets certification at the end of the online course, thanks to technological advancements like electronic signatures, which authenticate every online transaction.