Digital Transformation in schools is not about innovation or technology, it’s more a matter of culture. Through a digitalization of the learning experience, both teachers and students are able to improve their skills, with a common goal: to create a more engaging and effective education process.
Digital equity in education means that all students can have access to learning resources in an easier and less expensive way than the traditional one. Thanks to the digital transformation, students can check out only one device – a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop – to access many different contents at school, at home, wherever they are and regardless of their economic status.
With digital transformation, there is no more need to stop by the library to collect so many heavy books, that most of the time were already taken by someone else. Also, there will be no more need to choose which paper book to buy among those in the long list of suggested coursebooks. Digital contents are less expensive and they can be shared among students and teachers in a click.
And let’s not forget about the burst of free and open content and tools, through which schools can guarantee equal access to learning resources while saving money. Last but not least, digital equity allows lifelong learners to continue to pursue an education while growing up and meeting work or family commitments.
Promoting the digital transformation process in schools means allowing students to access the benefits of customization, building big-data fuelled curriculums to shape their future. Today, special programs are able to suggest what courses a learner should take depending on the courses he previously completed, his scores and his aptitude.
These systems use big data to recommend courses that can satisfy the interest of students, also advising them on which are the probability of getting good final results. The opportunity to customize learning for each student makes education more productive: special needs are more quickly diagnosed and progress is accelerated.
Digital learning platforms are literally breaking the geographical and cultural boundaries, allowing teachers to bring the knowledge beyond the classroom, potentially to a worldwide audience.
Other children and young students from all around the world can attend and contribute to lessons, creating global conversations through so many different points of view on the same topic, with the result of an enriched educational experience.
Asynchronous classrooms allow students to “go to school” whenever they need. This gives graduate students the opportunity to access advanced information for their thesis and researches in the exact moment when they need it the most, while undergraduate students can benefit from the flexibility – a brand new concept for the traditional education – that allows them to stay updated with the school agenda while doing other important experiences such as internships or temporary study abroad.
One of the most powerful and positive impact on education provided by the digital transformation in schools is the possibility to build learning modules in a faster way. Educators can prepare their courses and programmes using the best content previously developed by other colleagues, from their same department but also from other institutes.
Thanks to this “digital abstraction” of content, educators can solve the struggle to create a variety of effective learning materials that have to satisfy a broad range of needs for different competencies, difficulty levels, roles and departments. Furthermore, thanks to digital tools, educators can measure how students learn most effectively, adjusting the learning modules to new evidence-based aspects.
Teachers’ training is fundamental to the success of digital transformation in schools. It needs prepared educators who feel empowered by the use of digital tools and want to use them in the most efficient way, without missing any possible opportunity given by the new education technologies.
Teachers can join online professional learning communities to ask questions and share tips with the colleagues, staying connected and animating the common goal to create an evolved, high-quality standard of education.