Motto for learning in digital transformation is to learn as much as you can, as though you had all the time in the world.
One of the most popular quotes attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever”, showed up in print in 1867, 2 years before Mahatma was even born. In fact, the quote has been attributed to different people with no proof of the original wording; supposedly, the saying goes back to the 13th century and it’s credited to Saint Edmund Rich.
Whoever stated it first, in what context or century doesn’t count that much. The idea of learning-up-to-the-end is like trying to match the length of your life with the depth of human race knowledge. When it comes to learning, the sky’s the limit; because nothing stops us from continually learning, training, adapting, improving our skills. We share this ability with animals, some machines and even certain plants.
Over time, learning evolved from survival trials (taming the wild environment) to machine-oriented strategies, reaching nowadays the most sophisticated level of upskilling through artificial intelligence and emulation. Digital interfaces and a high level of accessibility turned the learning process into an entertainment type of activity: it seems to be easier to learn Japanese using an app than to prepare traditional Japanese tea.
How digital transformation changes the learning abilities and learning habits?
It changed the education rhythm and teachers have started introducing new tools to their instruction and teaching routine: teaching/learning became not only faster, but more efficient and entertaining.
Trendy technologies are making headlines in education because of how they are influencing the dynamics of learning and teaching:
- Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality / Mixed Reality
Augmented, virtual, and mixed reality enhance the classroom experience through collaboration, interaction and lesson immersion. This makes learning more engaging and fun for the student. With apps such as Boulevard or Unimersiv, students can virtually visit some of the world’s best museums or take a walk through ancient Greece, explore the Titanic or the world of the Egyptian pyramids.
- Classroom Set of Devices
Schools are moving from BYOD (Bring your own device) to dedicated sets of classroom devices (such as tablets and PCs) and secured dedicated networks.
- Learning Spaces
SMART integrated technologies, such as smart boards, smart desks, smart experimenting tools, changed the classroom landscape altogether into a creative and collaborative-friendly space.
- Artificial Intelligence
Chatbots and other AI technologies (Siri or Google Home) use Natural Language Progression data-processed software which transforms data into natural language. This helps answer questions about homework, or helps with assignments and other paperwork related tasks. Some AI applications include personalized learning, intelligent tutoring systems or customized evaluation tools.
- Blended/Adaptive Learning
Blended learning involves more the student than the teacher in the way that the student has more control on the how of the learning (controls learning elements, makes decisions on learning content, adapts learning curve and evaluation methods). Learning adaptive technology collects information on students’ behavior and uses this information further on to provide instant feedback and to adjust the learning experience. These educational tools continually analyze student data in real-time and make educational decisions based on this data.
- Gaming as educational tool
Through gaming, learning turns into an exciting and interactive instructional process. In pretty much all disciplines, gaming technology is used to enhance the educational process. Because of the entertainment factor and the immediate feedback students are highly motivated to keep “playing” and stay engaged in the “gaming learning” activity.
Learning where to?
What all these learning strategies and tools have in common is interactivity and availability. Not only do they save on resources but allow the teacher and the student equally to bring learning to a new level. What’s the next level is still to be determined, since the technology constantly evolves and changes. What drives people to adopt new technologies when it comes to learning? What makes learning a fun and entertaining activity? What is the next learning digital transformation?
Recent studies underline the fact that learning through technology is not a step forward towards evolution, but just a layer on the shape of the evolution. The “net” generation doesn’t have bigger brains because they grew up surrounded by technology. Nor are they experts in using it. The access to knowledge and information resources doesn’t turn us professionals of a certain domain or experts in any field. Google and Wikipedia are just doors to knowledge. How we open them or how we keep them open for others is still a question of wisdom!