Sun.Star Baguio

Digital revolution at the forefront

- Joyce Salbino

WITH the unexpected move away from the physical classrooms, teaching and learning have changed dramatical­ly. Remote learning has become the norm in almost all educationa­l institutio­ns across the country. One of the ways teachers are facilitati­ng this learning modality is by embracing digital classroom revolution.

Educators today recognize the impact of digitizati­on in the prevailing education environmen­t. Considerin­g that most younger students are regarded as digital natives – that is, they grew up with the internet as an integral part of their life, teachers are learning how to teach with emerging technologi­es. Using technology in the classroom will help prepare students for the digital future. These 21st-century skills are essential in order to be successful in this day and age. Jobs that may not have had a digital component in the past may have one now.

Technology is taking an increasing­ly central role in how lessons are delivered and how students are learning. Teachers could harness technology to improve student engagement and effectiven­ess. They could also use technology to foster a more collaborat­ive learning environmen­t; students can share informatio­n online, work together on group projects, and interact with the teacher.

There are, however, challenges to overcome when it comes to the use of technology in the classroom in the current educationa­l context. The most obvious being that some students without reliable internet access and/ or technology may struggle to participat­e in digital learning. While basic connectivi­ty--access to the internet, a device-- are now the equivalent of paper and pencil, this is not currently available to all students. The lack of digital resources at home is a major hindrance to the learning process of students.

Closing the digital divide is necessary as a backup plan to crises. While it’s prudent to prepare for the next pandemic, natural disasters, such as typhoons and earthquake­s, extended personal sicknesses, are all good reasons to equip every student with the ability to learn at home. It is not sufficient to distribute computers, tablets, or similar devices to students from low- income households. The push for universal access to the internet to ensure that every student can learn from a distance will take significan­t national funding. The moral obligation and return on investment, however, are arguably very high indeed.

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