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Educational theorists and practitioners will not soon agree on the status of digital learning technologies. Innovations will never fully supplant a teacher. It is possible to become a human only among people, and this is the main purpose of education. So it’s more appropriate to talk about digital educational tools when we discuss gadgets, special software, and the Internet. Undoubtedly, they are very useful and have a high practical value, help to prepare children for a future social and professional life.
Digital education today
With just a few taps on a smartphone screen, parents arrange the visit of their child to a doctor, order a passport via governmental services and buy goods online. The computer has become the control panel of the whole life, but kids still go to school. Living educators are indispensable. Moreover, they strive to use modern technologies as far as possible. Leaders of the pedagogical community share their work on personal websites and educational portals.
Here is a complete list of the basic information and communication technologies that the teachers confidently possess:
- they work with multimedia boards, projectors, printers, scanners, computers;
- launch and edit presentations, texts, audio, and video materials;
- find educational files on the Internet and download them to a computer;
- make tests for schoolchildren on sites, send links or print copies for work at home and in a classroom;
- interact in Google documents online.
However, much should be done in this area. Computers, netbooks, and tablets used in many schools are morally obsolete. In addition, a paper load on teachers increases every year, and there is no enthusiasm to learn new technologies. So, digital education needs serious reforms.
Learning through a game
According to psychologists, it is best for people and animals to acquire knowledge and social skills in a game. Lions learn to hunt, and children play in a “shop” or “hospital”. A person of any age maximizes imagination, attention, and memory in a real or virtual game. That is why gaming is called a trend of digital education.
Military, traders and pedagogues use computer games to ensure that students develop the necessary skills in a safe environment. At a virtual exchange, trainees learn the mechanisms of the securities market. In military simulators, players use different strategies. Teachers of social science in some US schools offer students to open their own law firm in an online game. The young people comprehend the basics of civil society and learn to defend their rights.
The next generation of educational computer games should be created by combining the technical means and pedagogical developments. The problem is that smartphones and virtual reality glasses have already appeared, but there are no game scenarios yet. Special educational programs in the virtual and augmented reality should be created.
In these programs, students will discover America together with Columbus, work in an environment that cannot be created in the class in the other way. It will become possible to split atoms in the laboratory, collect samples of Martian soil, teach nomads English.
A game is the best way to learn difficult or boring school subjects without coercion. It teaches and, at the same time, motivates because the players:
- instantly receive feedback in response to their actions;
- strive to solve the tasks set in order to get ahead of rivals;
- see an objective assessment of their participation in the overall rating;
- regularly receive interim awards – points and tokens.
Already today, interactive simulators, for example, on the historic website or in the math application, automatically check the answers to tasks and provide the result in percentages and points. Smart piano in combination with a tablet or smartphone will teach you to play without a pedagogue in a comfortable environment. In the free application to the digital piano “The One”, students receive video lessons, scores, training games and instant feedback on the light bar and the screen.
In January 2018, the Japanese company introduced a robot that teaches to play table tennis. Artificial intelligence receives data on the movement of players and the ball from three cameras and does not seek to defeat an opponent. Smart robots are able to assess how technically the child throws the ball, observes the safety rules during chemistry experiments and whether the drawing on geometry is correct. The feedback is given objectively and delicately.
A computer quickly processes a large amount of information about a student: his mood, health, reaction speed, and productivity. On the basis of these data, artificial intelligence can flexibly build the curriculum taking into account the difficulties, interests, and abilities of the young people.
For example, a child who better perceives information by ear will receive not only texts and diagrams but also audio material. A virtual teacher of a foreign language will offer an athlete to reflect on football – not reading. And someone who has not mastered the rules of spelling will play more grammatical games.
Computers will take on the bulk of the teaching routine: they will instill the basics, check knowledge and give feedback. A living pedagogue will monitor the child’s dynamics according to the machine’s reports, give consultations and discuss the personal progress with the student.
Importance of digital technology
So, digital learning (in which computer technologies are used intelligently) is not just a tribute to fashion. Applications help to teach a child to read and solve problems faster and easier. For three years, American researchers studied the data of 2,300 students who studied online. They found out that, at ordinary lessons, children remember only 5% of the information, and while working on the training site – three times as much.
If young people have a specific question or problem, they can quickly find a solution on the Internet. If there is no time for urgent tasks (for example, a student combines education with work), he always can contact a professional essay writing service. When it is necessary to prepare for the Olympiads or exams, online teachers are ready to help. At interactive courses or lessons with a Skype tutor, the child uses programs and applications not because he is obliged to do it, but to solve his educational problem. Thus, technology develops a sense of responsibility in students.