John Edmonstone, eLearning Manager at Glasgow Clyde College writes in The Scotsman that digital technology has impacted every sector and industry across the world and it is no different in education.
The introduction of digital technologies to the sector has created a more flexible learning environment. Students can alter the place, rate and approach to study through online teaching provisions and fully integrated distance learning courses. They interact with peers, lecturers, researchers and resources from around the world gaining valuable knowledge, skills and competencies in technology, which is ultimately beneficial to future employers.
A survey commissioned by Jisc of 16-24 year-olds shows that 75 per cent of higher education students believe that having staff with the appropriate digital skills is an important factor when choosing a college or university. The same survey found that 62 per cent believe technology keeps them more engaged. These results demonstrate learners’ expectations of HE institutions in a modern education environment.
At Glasgow Clyde College, we recently opened an innovation centre, an investment in digital technology and innovative learning spaces, encouraging learning and collaboration through technology.
A report from the Commons Science and Technology Committee in June 2016 said: “Urgent action is needed to deal with the UK’s digital skills crisis, or it risks damaging the country’s productivity and competitiveness. It is thought 12.6 million adults lack basic digital skills, while 5.8 million have never used the internet at all.”
It is up to colleges and universities to ensure students have the skills and ability to use new powerful technologies purposefully and confidently when they step into the world of work.
The need to provide expert digital advice and ensure digital skills are taught and retained, will only increase over time. The future is about equitable access and empowerment so everyone can navigate the digital world.
Do you think schools will become increasingly reliant on digital methods of teaching? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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