A quick look around today’s modern classroom reveals a world unimaginable even a few short years ago. Digital learning has advanced in leaps and bounds, creating more varied and detailed learning opportunities in which students can immerse themselves. In classrooms today, you see interactive whiteboards with teacher-led tablet instructions, and even personal student devices for in-class use.
Digital and social learning aren’t just passing fads—they harness real power in your classroom that you can’t get anywhere else. Below are just a few of the benefits that digital and social learning can bring to your classroom, and to your students’ overall learning experiences.
Digital learning can be customized to meet each student’s specific, individual academic needs, while ensuring that all students are still meeting the same learning requirements. Whether a student is academically advanced or struggling in a particular area, programs such as Explode The Code® Online and Listenwise can enable students to participate in an interactive online program that offers an appropriate and individualized path.
Through methods such as games, simulations and embedded assessments, students receive feedback on a regular basis. They know immediately if they have mastered the material, or if they need to spend more time in a specific area. Most programs will keep teaching the lesson point until the student has mastered it enough to move on—so children are truly learning at their own pace. Programs such as iSPIRE use teacher-led instruction that allows struggling students to engage in a digital learning experience while still receiving continuous feedback from their teacher.
Specific types of activities, including games, can increase student motivation. Teachers can create content that is both relevant and interesting to their students. When material is both relevant and interesting, students become more active and engaged in the learning process. In both Wordly Wise 3000® 4th Edition and Wordly Wise i3000™ students have access to Quizlet—a new partnership for both programs. Students use engaging study and game activities to provide additional reinforcement for vocabulary words. While students are playing games and having fun, they are embedding each word and meaning deeper into their long-term memory.
Digital learning can take place on a desktop, laptop, or tablet. Research-based multisensory programs such as iSPIRE and Explode The Code are available for a variety of online platforms, so whatever in-class resources are available, you can still harness the power of digital and social learning.
Digital learning provides instant access to a variety of learning tools and information. With nearly unlimited and immediate access to resources, students are able to dig deeper into any topic, allowing each student to direct his or her own research and learning. Self-guided learning and study create a deeper level of engagement.
Social Interaction and Extended Learning
One of the biggest complaints regarding digital learning has often been the lack of social interaction—the ability for learners to share their thoughts, discuss content, and integrate social media into their courses was deemed integral to the new learning standards. Digitec Interactive KnowledgeDirect states that social learning increases because learners become more engaged with their peers through a variety of social tools.
Students participating in digital learning now have greater access to a variety of types of interaction with peers than ever before. In Wordly Wise i3000 there are opportunities for students to share and communicate with their peers to apply and extend their learning. Social sharing provides motivation, engagement, and additional support for diverse learners.
Social interaction among students also allows learners to extend their learning. A white paper written for Cable in the Classroom demonstrates that students of all ages and academic levels can deepen and expand their learning through digital learning.
Extended learning occurs when students use varied and multiple representations of ideas and concepts. It also occurs when learners are given challenging tasks and asked to elaborate. All of these elements can easily be incorporated into digital learning.
From elementary to high school, as well as ELL and special needs, all students can benefit from digital and social learning in today’s classroom.