Digital learning has fundamentally changed teaching and opened new opportunities for educators. From differentiating instruction to creating culturally responsive learning environments to improving equity of opportunity, to just saving valuable time, the benefits of digital learning environments are clearer than ever.
Students are also benefiting from modern digital learning. Today’s digital classrooms mirror students’ use of multimedia content outside of class, creating deeper engagement and improving academic achievement. In addition, the integration of digital content into instruction is empowering the growth of today’s learners by making them strong collaborators, problem-solvers, and content creators.
Below are some of the top game-changing elements exhibited by modern digital learning platforms and content.
1. Digital Content Makes It Easier Than Ever to Reach All Types of Learners
It’s becoming more and more obvious that the standard broad approach at educating isn’t guaranteed to engage the whole classroom. Differentiation gives educators a key that can unlock all doorways of learning. A well-implemented digital learning platform that’s grounded in differentiation and high-quality digital content arms educators with a bottomless toolbox of instructional strategies that can be deployed to suit any students’ learning patterns and interests. Such a strategy is nearly impossible to execute well without the employment of digital learning platforms, which amplify the capabilities of educators by giving them curated sets of resources tailored to meet their needs, and the needs of each student.
2. Digital Content Makes Learning Come Alive and Supports Student Inquiry
A good digital learning platform has the power to introduce students to discoveries around the world through multi-modal resources that simply weren’t previously possible within the confines of a classroom. Real-world content ignites students’ curiosity by showing them how what they’re learning about is present all around them. Instead of text on a page, students can dive into a deep sea of engaging, interactive resources, helping them make lasting connections between their studies and their world.
3. Digital Learning Platforms Save Teachers Time
Even after embracing all the benefits of digital tools, teachers remain some of the busiest professionals in the world. Every minute counts. That’s why it’s vital that digital learning platforms limit the friction for educators between introducing a new instructional technique and seeing that spark of interest in students. Doing that right requires good professional development and embedding on-demand instructional supports in the platform itself. Professional learning doesn’t need to be intrusive. Effective professional learning can dramatically extend the abilities of teachers by inspiring them with strategic resources, on-demand support, and creative grab-n-go lesson plans.
4. Digital Content Empowers Students to Share Their Work and Tap into Their Creativity
Many modern digital learning platforms give students the chance to share their own unique takes on their lessons. These sharing opportunities naturally incorporate the four Cs of 21st century skills—critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. By giving students innovative ways to collaborate with peers on group work, they deepen their engagement with the learning material by seeing it through a different lens. Furthermore, research into the growth mindset of students has demonstrated that putting students in the driver’s seat of their own learning fosters independence, and they respect being given the chance to create their own content. The content creation process itself also provides its own intrinsic benefit to students as a highly prized digital skill to master.
5. Digital Content Helps Teachers Create Lessons that Speak Directly to ALL Students
The deep shelves of the content libraries in modern digital learning platforms allows curriculum developers and educators to select learning materials closely aligned to the makeup of their student populations. Whether that manifests in the differentiation of instructional resource types, or the ethnicities presented in the materials themselves, the wider the resource library, the more closely an educator can match the palette they’re seeking for their lessons.
Want to dive deeper? Read Discovery Education’s whitepaper Leveraging Digital Content to Create Equitable Pathways for Learning. Each of these game-changing elements of modern learning are strengths inside Discovery Education Experience, a new K-12 digital learning platform built from the ground up to support educators. With Experience, educators are given doorways into learning based on their preferences, allowing them to meet the needs of all learners.