Digital e-learning has become a handy buzzword to describe the use of technology in educational curricula. And while digital e-learning has been getting a lot of press lately, it’s been around for much longer than you might think. In this article, we dive into digital e-learning through the ages and explore why it became such a viable learning initiative in the 21st century.
In This Article:
What is e-learning; explain its importance?
Broadly speaking, digital e-learning is the use of technology to access educational curricula. In some cases, e-learning refers specifically to courses, programs, or classes that are offered only online. Other organizations acknowledge digital learning as an educational initiative that blends technology into a more traditional classroom setting.
You might see digital e-learning also referred to as distance education, online learning, digital learning, computerized learning, electronic learning, and much more. The main point to remember: digital e-learning involves the use of technology in education.
Digital e-learning is important largely because of the flexibility it offers teachers and students. Teachers can use digital tools to personalize assignments for students based on their comprehension of the subject. They can automate the grading process and receive data in real time about how their students are performing. Meanwhile, students have the ability to learn in new, innovative ways, giving them hands-on experience with the subject matter and increasing their retention of information.
READ MORE: Learn more about how to create a culture of digital learning
What are the benefits of e-learning?
There are (literally) dozens of benefits of e-learning! We rounded up all the top benefits of the digital learning journey to show just how important it is.
- Students have access to helpful resources anytime, anywhere.
- Nontraditional and traditional learners all have access to high-quality educational materials.
- Studies have shown that web-based education promotes independent learning.
- Lectures can be viewed more than once if a student needs to spend extra time on a lesson.
- The digital learning journey can quickly and easily be scaled up, depending on students’ needs.
- Digital materials are updated more frequently.
- E-learning can be incredibly cost-effective, giving teachers the ability to go on digital “field trips” and eliminating the need to continually buy outdated materials.
- Digital e-learning has proven to be an incredibly effective way for students to learn new content and retain information.
- Digital e-learning limits environmental impact, as educators can minimize paper consumption and, in cases of fully digital programs, the fuel consumption necessary for commuting.
- Teachers can personalize their students’ digital learning journey based on their individual needs.
- Digital e-learning is typically much more efficient than traditional methods. For example, teachers can assign digital assessments that are automatically graded. Students immediately see what their strengths and weaknesses are, and teachers can save the time they normally would have spent grading papers.
- Through digital e-learning, educators can still teach students who can’t come to a traditional classroom setting.
- Multimedia tools provide a richer learning experience for students.
- Students have the ability to gain hands-on skills through simulations, virtual reality, videos, games, and more.
- Students become more self-motivated and accountable when using digital learning tools. They are able to interact with the material, rather than passively memorizing facts or listening to one-sided lectures.
- Digital e-learning tools show parents how their students are performing so teachers don’t receive as many one-off emails or calls.
- Teachers can easily share information and curricula via digital learning tools, opening up communication and the educational sharing economy.
- Digital e-learning tools often put the impetus on students to take charge of their own learning, which prepares them for the workplace better than more traditional methods.
While there are certainly even more digital e-learning benefits, they really all fall into a few important categories:
- Increased flexibility in the classroom
- Increased student employability
- Increased engagement with and retention of information
READ MORE: Digital learning examples and solutions you can implement this week
Digital learning infographic: The rise of digital learning
Digital learning isn’t new — in fact, it’s been around for decades! And it’s not slowing down any time soon.
A (brief) history of digital learning
Top takeaways on today’s digital learning trends
||Student engagement is driving the digital learning revolution.
74% of teachers say that student engagement is why they invest in digital learning.
||Multimedia learning tools win best in class.
67% of teachers use online educational videos in class every week.
||Educators believe there is room for digital improvement at their schools.
2 in 5 educators explain their school is behind the technology curve.
||Digital devices are being used in classrooms every day.
42% of teachers report using at least one digital device every day.
||Textbooks are becoming a relic of the past.
75% of teachers think that textbooks will be replaced by digital learning within 10 years.
||Students are taking digital learning home with them.
90% of students have digital learning materials at home.
6 digital learning trends to watch for
makes learning fun and motivating.
Personalized, self-paced learning
allows teachers to meet the needs of every student.
help students learn digital citizenship skills.
Modern learning spaces
allow students to take virtual trips and create multimedia experiences.
Augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality:
bring the world into your classroom.
chatbots and virtual assistants can answer students’ questions.
READ MORE: FAQs about digital learning
Textbooks vs. Technology: Which Is the Winner?
In this guide, we pit the traditional textbook against an online textbook replacement. Download this free guide to see how the two compare and which is crowned the victor.