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The K-12 Digital Transformation

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How Technology is Shaping the Future of Learning

The process of transitioning from traditional teaching practices to those that use digital technology isn’t new, nor finite. It’s been happening for decades, and the pandemic accelerated it. Remote and hybrid learning put pressure on school administrators, teachers, students and parents to adopt ed-tech options. Fast.

Post-pandemic, the gist of the digital transformation in K­–12 education remains the same.

On a broad level, it’s about leveraging ed-tech to improve learning outcomes by creating:

  • Greater student engagement

  • Customized learning experiences

  • More efficient use of class time

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Five Ways Technology is Reshaping Learning and Teaching

Though the tools (and their cost) vary greatly, experts agree that digital transformation tools are moving teaching in a learner-centered direction. Here’s how.

Personalized Learning

As one teacher said, “Technology is helping to support personalized learning at a scale that previously wasn’t possible, as easy, or affordable.” Data-driven software is allowing teachers to track specific strengths, interests and needs of each student; adaptive learning technologies are letting students take ownership of their learning and progress at their own pace.

Differentiated and Individualized Instruction

Students learn at different paces and have a variety of learning processes. Ed-tech tools let teachers tailor the curriculum to facilitate learning to groups of students or individual students. For example, ed-tech software can make instruction more interactive, simplified or challenging. This approach benefits all learners, from those struggling to the gifted and talented.

Democratized Learning

The growing footprint of ed-tech means schools can now use online resources and extend those learning benefits to students who would otherwise not have access. Instead of relying on physical infrastructure, e-platforms (like virtual tutors) can be accessible from anywhere. This means more opportunities for underserved and remote areas. And, neurodiverse students or students with physical disabilities have equal access, thanks to modified-tech options.

More Immersive and Engaging Learning

A prime example of this is the metaverse, which education experts believe will – and, in some cases, already is – have a huge impact on learning. Vriti Saraf, founder and CEO of k20 Educators, a global social learning community, explains that the metaverse is “a virtual version of everything you can do in real life.” She gives this example, if teaching about the human body.

“You can either introduce them [students] to a textbook, where they can learn everything sequentially, or you can place their avatars inside a [3-D, digital] human body,” says Saraf. “One student can choose to go to the brain, other students can choose to go into the intestines. That choose-your-own-adventure learning experience is very empowering for most students.”

Limitless Collaborative Learning

As ed-tech improves, collaboration can unite students from around the world. It can allow for cross-cultural exchanges and have kids who can’t physically attend school work remotely with their peers. That’s a big boost for personal, interpersonal and cognitive skills growth.

Creating learning spaces that support the digital transformation require big-picture thinking. It’s about curating flexible environments for ed-tech’s benefits to flourish.

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