The digital revolution is changing our work, our associations and our schedules. It is changing the way kids and youngsters play, get Information, speak with each other. Besides, it is also changing the way students learn, interact, and gain the knowledge. Obviously, the learning process in the digital age has different characteristics from the education of students in the previous period. Previously, the learning process or education takes place in a classroom setting. There is a teacher or trainer who moderates and regulates the flow of information and knowledge. Then, the teacher or trainer expects the students to deepen their knowledge through written exercises at home. However, the generation at this age is those who do most of their life and educational activities using the digital media to make it easier for them. Students at this time are born, grow and develop in direct contact with the digital world, so that the flow of information obtained will be different from students in the previous period. In regarding to this point of view, the shift culture or paradigm of learning process is something unavoidable in which the students have to anticipate and accomodate as well as possible. Here are some reasons why the students should reform their learning habit, culture and paradigm.
The first reason is, the digital revolution had been existed in all aspects of life with no exception in the educational institution or in learning process. The implementation of digital tools in education or learning process was adopted since decades. Then, we can deal with the different terms, such as e-learning, blended-learning, mobile-learning, and distance-learning. Distance-learning, for instance, it had been implemented several years ago in many countries. It can be defined as the way of getting education without visiting a school or attending a class physically. Earlier the material related to the distance learning course was delivered through mail but due to increasing use of internet and technological advancements today it is available on our computer screen with the help of various tools like email, multi-media learning tools, interactive communication and video conferencing tools (zoom).
The second reason is, the emergence of various applications and web (digital tools) through smartphone with operating system (OS) which can be used for leraning purposes – so called digital learning, such as Instagram, Whatsapp, Youtube, Twitter, TikTok, and so forth. These give some benefits and advantages to the actors of learning (students and teachers). One of the biggest benefits is that it allows teachers or course providers to cater their learning plans or curriculum to the individual student. They can take into account the ability of the students and how they are progressing, then use this to make adjustments to allow for hurdles or quick progress. The other benefits are that it lets the students to gain breadth of information and knowledge, to be more engaging the lessons, to develop accountability, and to connect develop relationships with other people who are experiencing the same thing.
The third reason is, digital learning has shown that it’s able to provide a more holistic approach to education. It might be ironic but using technology and machines helps to stop students from just being another cog in a wheel. Instead, it helps them to perform better and reach their full potential. Besides that, digital learning offers a larger range of delivery methods for learning. Imagery, audio and video content can all be integrated seamlessly into a lesson. Here, the teachers are even able to find software that enhances the topic they are teaching in the form of games. All of this helps to make learning more fun, which in turn will raise the retention of the content taught in the lessons.
Furthermore, not every student is the most productive at exactly the same time. Some students are better in the morning; others have a sudden burst of productivity late at night. The problem is that previous model of education doesn’t make allowances for this. On one hand, the students need to be ‘on’ during the lesson time. If they aren’t able to get to the necessary level of attentiveness, they might get left behind. On the other hand, with digital learning, there is no ‘back of the class.’ The students can take things at their own pace. With digital learning, the students can foster ownership over their learning. If they don’t know why the earth is round, they have all the technology and resources to find it out for themselves. It also helps the students to rewind and catch the missing lesson because they have recorded the content before.
Moreover, it’s not only much easier for a teacher to mark a student’s strengths and weaknesses but also to track their general progress by using digital learning. It is because the information is easy to access and view at a glance in digital learning environment. The last but not least, the students will improve their written language skills because a lot of communication come via messaging apps to get in touch with people fast. The students will also retain information and succeed at a much higher rate than who don’t because of experiencing fun learning implemented in digital learning.
Based on the reasons that have been oulined above, it can be conclude that from chalkboards and paper to pads and laptops, the habit and culture of how the students learn has to be changed and prepared as good as possible in our school. The major benefit of the change is that today’s students will embark into the future with open minds and unlimited possibilities available to them. It’s awesome to be a student!
by: Dr. Imam Azhar, M.Pd