1.0 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
is clear that technology is becoming an integral part of our everyday activity
and that’s why you find it integrated into all aspects of our lives. From the
health sector, economic sector, social sector, education sector etc. but does
this technology impact as positively. Back then in memorial students used to
learn using paper and pencil while interacting with other students and
teachers/lecturers. This method of learning has seen my people becoming great
employees in their line of profession and reaching greater heights in terms of
their education levels. However, with the evolving technology in the education
sector, new ways of learning have been introduced. A good example is Digital
learning which I will be exploited to analyze its advantages and disadvantages.
and for most, we need to understand the definition of digital learning as it is
sometimes confused by e-learning. As per the Wikipedia, “Digital learning is
any type of learning that is facilitated by technology or by institutional
practices that makes effective use of technology. It encompasses the
application of a wide spectrum of practices including: blending and virtual
learning, adaptive learning, badging and gamification, blended learning,
classroom technologies, e-textbooks, learning analytics, learning objects,
personalized learning, online learning (or e-learning), open educational
resources(OERs), technology-enhanced teaching and learning, virtual reality
the mid-1990s, many education policymakers have promoted widespread access to
the Internet in schools. Over
the same period, access to the Internet has been expanding in locations outside
of school. One of the most common activities that youth perform online is
schoolwork. According to a September 2001 study by the
Pew Internet & American Life Project:
every online teen (94% of 12 to 17-year-olds who report using the Internet) has
used the Internet for school research;
used the Internet as the major source for their most recent school project;
have used a Web site set up by the school or a class;
have downloaded a study aid; and
have created a Web page for a school project.
learning is meant to enhance the learning experience rather than replace
traditional methods all together but are the digital tools used in e-learning
making us more or less productive at school and work? This will be one of my
research points apart from also exploring how digital learning has or is going
to change schools and the education sector.
CHAPTER 2: METHODOLOGY
order to get a quantitative and a qualitative research, I have used a journal
and online materials as meanings of carrying out my research in an attempt of
getting a comprehensive statistics on how digital learning is impacting our way
of studies as well as the education sector.
long time ago; like 15years or so, smartphones were beginning to coverage,
doing away with the need for paper addresses and enabling new connectivity. Digital learning today is where
smartphones were a decade ago but it’s taking hold; at least that is
what it looks like in most third world countries as compared to most first
world countries. As a study case, I will be evaluating the impacts of digital
learning in the United States as well as in Kenya.
In the United States statics show that thirty states offer fully online
schools that grant degrees. There are approximately 315,000 students enrolled
in this type of digital school. This represents about half of one percent of
the overall primary and secondary school population. But, the number of
students enrolled in online schools is growing rapidly. This past school year
enrollment increased by 6.2 percent. In addition, virtual schools, which
provide supplementary course offerings, have about 740,000-course enrollments
in the 2015-2016 school year. Even though digital schools have many enrollments
in the state, some states have put in policies to help the growth of digital
learning, for example, North Carolina created the position of “chief
academic and digital learning officer” to administer the state’s online
learning programs. However, some other states that have inhibited the growth of
digital learning. For example, currently, twenty states have laws banning the
enrollment of students in digital schools. Concentrating on the states that
offer and support digital learning, a report done by Gerard L. Danford shows
that The U.S. is the
undisputed leader in digital (online and distance) higher education. 5.8
million Students are taking at least one digital course, and some 2.7 million
higher education students are studying exclusively via digital. Furthermore,
growth in digital learning continues, even as higher education enrollments
overall are declining 1, 2, 3. What can European higher education
institutions learn from this U.S. experience? In this research the author
focuses on; the drivers of growth in digital learning, impact on learning
outcomes, and institutional costs.
Kenya, the case is different as that of the United States. A program known as the Digital Learning
programme (DLP) was initiated by the Government of Kenya in 2013. The programme
was put in place to integrate the use of technologies in learning. This
programme was put in place to deliver 1.2 million devices between 2013 and 2016
but up to date only 11500 devices have been delivered in lower primary schools
but the government is working towards expanding the DLP to cover up to the
second stage of its education sector. However, apart from the DPL making an
effort to introduce and implement the digital learning, other organizations and
institutions are on the verge of fully adopting digital learning practices. A
good example is The Kenyatta University School of Virtual and Open Learning that
seeks to provide learning opportunities to students who are unable to take up
full-time on-campus programmes.
is a clear distinction on the comparison between the two countries above as
digital learning has already been implemented In the United States but in
Kenya, it is facings its genesis. For this reason, I will be evaluating the
United State digital learning evolution to get a clear outcome on whether the
digital learning experience has made more or less productivity at school and
work and its impact to the education sector.
research done in the USA shows that the impact made in the education sector can
only be measured using the following variable which includes:
ü Availability of ICT
ü Usage of ICT
ü Knowledge of ICT
ü Effectiveness of ICT
variable was researched upon by asking different universities in different
states on the following questions as per the variable:
Availability of ICT
ü Is there
any available IT equipment in the university?
internet connectivity available anytime you are in the computer laboratory?
ü Is there
any available multimedia device when you are in the lecture rooms?
ü How many
digital libraries are there in that state?
Usability of ICT
variable exploits and tries to find out how the students can use newly set
technologies in studying. The following questions were used to evaluate this
ü Is there
any usage of latest technology in the university?
frequently do students use multimedia devices in lecture rather than
frequently do students use the internet in researching about their assignments
and school projects rather than books in the library?
2.2.3 Knowledge of ICT
variable helps us understand how knowledgeable are students regarding the use
of ICT and how has it been beneficial to them.
ü How does
ICT functions provide information to operate different multimedia devices?
ü How is
the ICT knowledge helpful at a professional level?
2.2.4 Effectiveness of ICT
To evaluate how
the effectiveness of ICT has impacted the education sector. The following
questions were asked.
ü Does the
ICT knowledge improve the learning skills of students?
ü How has
the intent enhanced your way of learning and researching?
ü How has
ICT enhanced education planning?
major finding of this research establishes that availability and usage of ICT
are very crucial to enhance the educational sector and efficiency of students.
This shows that the availability of ICT is beneficial to the students as it
enhances their learning experience and helps them prepare a complete and
comprehensive report on their assignments and projects. These findings imply
that the more the usage and availability of ICT in a university, the more
efficient student will be in terms of their profession. All the heads of
universities were in agreement that vast knowledge provided by ICT is helpful
in enhancing the efficiency level in the education sector.
CHAPTER 3: LITERATURE REVIEW
is the era of technology, hence, it is being used in every sector of our lives
and Educations is no exception. Digital learning is not exactly a new concept
but is also neither a very old one. It is basically any type of learning that
is facilitated by technology or by institutional practices that makes effective
use of technology. It is a deeper learning experience as the student makes the
effort of understanding the concepts himself.
a particular private school in Saudi Arabia, “an eight-year-old girl calculates
multiplication tables using an interactive program that feeds her increasingly
difficult questions as she demonstrates higher levels of achievement. Across
the hall, a ten-year-old boy prepares a short video explaining how automobile
airbags work.” With such a rich environment of technological devices such
as laptops and tablets, it’s hard to believe that just one year earlier these
students relied solely on pencils, textbooks, and teacher lectures.
shocking research done by world economic forum shows that 65% of the children
entering primary schools will find themselves in an occupation that today don’t
exist. It also shows that by 2020, an estimation of about 1.5 million digitized
jobs across the globe. This means that truly technology is playing in every
aspect of our lives and it is here to stay. However, as beneficial as it is, it
also comes with some cons. A number of things make its implementation really
hard such as its expensiveness, but apart from that social media applications
have really caused a major distraction to our young associates. Social media is
mostly used as a tool to size up one’s own accomplishments against others which
tends to have a lot of negative impacts on the young boys and girls. This
should not be the case, social media is an advantageous platform where one can
learn and share educational content apart from extending your social status.
These Social and recreational media should mostly be used as a site of learning.
Apart from that, it has also led to the Lack of face-to-face interactions with
the teachers and classmates, of which in my opinion is not a healthy move. A
research done by a company known as love to know, shows that people who tend to
spend a lot of time in social media sites tend to have health issues such head
and stomachache, hence making them less productive in work and school . With
this kind of distraction eradicated completely, digital learning can be a
massive tool in learning environments.
CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND OBSERVATIONS
4.1 Digital learning
impacts on the student.
following are some of the positive impacts on the student I have compiled from different online materials:
ü Informal patterns of learning: Digital
learning helps a student to learn in a style that best suits him. For example,
if he is unable to understand through theory, he can use interactive programs
to get a better understanding of the concept.
ü Learning anytime and anyplace: Thanks
to the internet and the modern technology, students can now access study
material on their laptops at any time and from anywhere. As a result, the
students are not restricted to learning only during the school hours.
ü Performance Improvements: Research
has shown that students who have access to digital learning and who make good
use of it, tend to perform well in their papers.
ü Improving concepts: Blended
learning tools are very helpful in making the concept understandable. Students
are better able to comprehend problems.
ü Improves creativity: Not
all students are able to perform well by solely relying on course books. For
them, it is important to utilize their creative side. For this matter, digital
learning is the best option.
ü Increased Interactivity: It
is true that interactive programs and strategies are engaging for students.
They are able to develop an interest in them, helping them to learn voluntarily
and more effectively.
to Jim Shelton, deputy secretary at the US Department of
Education, the benefits of adding digital educational tools to curriculum
extend far beyond the classroom. In an interview
done by The Aspen Institute, Jim Shelton offered a deeper dive into the
advantages of introducing digital learning. He said that “When students have
access to powerful mobile devices and digital resources that are continually
updated, they realize that learning doesn’t stop with the last bell of the
school day. They become accustomed to learning being an integral part of all
aspects of their lives, which establishes ongoing learning habits lasting long
after graduation. In addition, technology empowers students to take
control of their own learning. By providing students with tools to engage and
create, as well as monitor their own progress, students are put in the driver’s
seat and become owners of the learning process.”
Other than having a wide load of
benefits the digital learning platform contains some negative impacts on the student as well.
ü Has it many Distractions? Digital
Learning tools can sometimes be a distraction to students. Many students end up
spending a lot of time in these tools and forget about their lecture books and
classwork’s hence the end up wasting a lot of their time. Some of these tools
are laptops connected to the internet which becomes a problem to students that
are easily distracted by the social media.
ü It’s expensive to implement digital
learning: Buying digital learning tools e.g. Laptops,
smartphones, etc. are quite expensive and therefore cannot be afforded by
everyone. More so by students leaving in third world countries.
ü Missing out on the social aspect of learning: Lack of
face-to-face interactions with the teachers and classmates is not a healthy
move. It is important to remember that not all education can be received
through digital learning. Class lectures and discussions are important learning
processes. The bond between a teacher and pupil is very important for a
positive learning experience.
4.2 Digital learning impacts on the Education sector
use of information and communication technologies in the education sector plays
an important role in providing innovation to the whole learning process in the
potential of ICT impact in education is clear but only when implemented
correctly, laptops and computers, for example, can allow students to learn at
their own speed and help children develop important digital skills and computer
know-how. But some huge challenges, such as high costs of these devices,
increased burdens on parents and teachers. However, much higher education
institution has taken up the challenge and are putting in their best in
implement digital learning because of the following reasons:
many more new students expected to enroll in universities in the near future, digitization
allows higher education to be more scalable and more affordable.
ü Many Universities
and colleges are not only used by students who have graduated from secondary
education but also by full-time workers, single parents, and career
changers—convenient access to higher education at various stages of their lives
hence bring into account the functionality of flexibility.
education is being enhanced by new features in mobile devices, cloud delivery
systems, video streaming and other broadband-intensive applications, and
learning management systems.
students are digital natives who are used to getting want they want at the time
and location they want to get it.
distraction just another meaningless message to keep you from paying attention
to the issues that are important?” One
of the observations I’ve made in this research is that the only tool that makes
many students and even employees in many organizations be lazy and lack
innovation in whatever they are doing is social media. Below I have outlined
the negative impacts of social media.
Negative Impacts of social media on
students and employees
Many students depend solely on the accessibility of information on social media
specifically and different websites in general to provide solutions for
whichever situations they may be facing, may it be assignments, projects, life
hacks etc. This means that their focus on learning and retaining information is
Many students and employees tend to attempt to multi-task, visiting social
media sites while studying or working, their ability to concentrate on the task
at hand is significantly reduced by the distractions that are brought about by
YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. At the end, this reduces their performance in
school and work.
The more time students and employees spend on social sites, the more they
became antisocial in terms of interacting with other people physically.
Students who spend a great deal of time on social networking are less able to
effectively communicate in person.
The fast growth of social media and the pace at which information is published
has created a relaxing attitude towards proper spelling and proper construction
of sentences. This has significantly made many students lazy in writing, as
they depend so much on a computer with spell checking features.
The anonymity brought by the internet has made many students careless in
publishing comments or status on these social network sites which brings
negative consequences. For example, some of the employers tend to research
about a particular interviewee through his social media accounts before giving
them a job.
CHAPTER 5: RECOMMENDATIONS
is no doubt that technology is having a massive impact in the education sector
and has become an essential and effective tool for the success of many
students. But this is only possible when implemented correctly. One of the most
effective ways of implementing digital learning is by the use of a concept
known as blended learning introduce by education Technology Company. Blended
learning is the use of technology to combine in-class and out-class learning by
infusing tradition learning with technology. Blended learning has redefined the
role of teaches and lecture by offering them a more flexible option depending
on the capabilities of the student. This intern enables teachers to focus on
making students understand a particular concept rather than worrying with the
mode of delivering the concept itself.
blended method of learning enables college staff with the ability to be able to
come up with flipped activities which learners can complete pre- and
post-lesson to gain the understanding of topics. These are very advantageous as
it allows the time in traditional classrooms to focus on extending the students’
knowledge and to enable them in reaching the advanced levels of learning such
as analyzing and evaluating.
the access of social media sites in multimedia devices such as computers and
laptops in offices and schools is an effective way of ensuring that employees
and students are not distracted. Hence, their concentration is fully in what
they are doing. This will make them productive and innovative in their line of
work and in schools
and companies from private sectors from different countries should try as much
as possible to fund and put in place policies that enable and help in the
implementation of digital learning in schools, so as to improve the education
sector. The government should also put in place measure to ensure the
availability and usability of ICT infrastructures are accessible to students so
as to facilitate digital learning.
With many more new students
expected to enroll in universities in the near future, digitization allows
higher education to be more scalable and more affordable. By doing so, students
will be able to learn from anywhere in this world in any university through
different online platforms such as teleconferencing etc.