Home » Education Technology » Why digital learning is a powerful educational tool — and here to stay

Matt Waring

Education Channel Manager, Logitech

The right type of digital technology can enhance the learning experience for students while benefiting teachers, says Matt Waring, Education Channel Manager, Logitech.

Is technology helping schools rethink the way that pupils learn? 

Yes, by giving teachers and students more options. The huge variety of digital tools and resources gives students increased flexibility and empowers them to find their own voice. The pandemic helped accelerate the trend for digital learning.  

Overnight, the typical IT use of a school went from 35 minutes a day to three or four hours a day. Blended learning — a mix of face-to-face and remote learning, via digital tools — is here to stay. 

What’s your definition of ‘digital learning’?  

Any learning that is facilitated or delivered by technology. Even the traditional classroom setting can be enhanced with video conferencing solutions, cameras and microphones. For example, whiteboard cameras allow remote participants to join in with a lesson — but, thanks to AI functions, they also give students in the room a better, clearer view of the board via their own devices. Plus, the lesson can be recorded and played back later. 

Meanwhile, individual students can use digital styluses — like pens, but for digital devices — collaboratively, in a way that allows everyone to work on the same document at the same time — accelerating the pace of learning.  

Even the learning of individual students may be enhanced with, say, a headset to eliminate background noise and improve their focus, or by picking up their voices clearly if they’re using an app for dictation or language lessons. Plus, eSports and gaming are huge growth areas — and a way for students to develop skills such as teamwork, leadership and strategic thinking through play. 

Design is key. We’ve put a lot of
thought into developing technology
that helps with student wellness.

What type of digital learning technology should every classroom have? 

Every classroom will have its own requirements. However, educators need to choose the right technology to better understand their students’ needs and deliver improved standards of teaching. Equally, technology mustn’t be used for the sake of it. Its job is to amplify the learning experience, not distract from it. 

How does digital learning enhance access, equity and inclusion? 

Every learner must be served properly — but it’s also the case that everyone learns differently. For example, rather than type an essay, a student might want to dictate it. Technology enables students to be creative and collaborative but learn in their own way. 

How can it benefit teachers? 

For instance, webcams are available that auto-focus and auto-adjust lighting, helping teachers make and maintain eye contact with their students during remote learning sessions. That means lessons are more engaging, and teachers are assured that their pupils are listening and understanding. Hand-held presenter tools enable the teacher to move around the room and interact with students while remaining fully in control of lesson content.  

What are the challenges to successful digital learning? 

Expense plays a part. Schools want value for money, but buying the cheapest tech could be a false economy if it has to be replaced after a year or if it doesn’t positively impact the user. They should focus on digital tools that have been developed for educational settings — and built to last.  

This type of technology needs to be real-world and classroom-tested. It must be easy to deploy and manage because teachers don’t want to spend the first 10 minutes of a lesson trying to set it up.  

How important are design and sustainability issues in this area? 

Design is key. We’ve put a lot of thought into developing technology that helps with student wellness. Our tablet cases have keyboards on them, for example, which is better for the user’s posture, enhancing stamina and focus.  

And sustainability is a vital consideration. It’s a real issue for young people — as it should be. Schools must work out how to deploy technology in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the environment and use devices that are built with sustainability in mind. 

Next article