Digital Learning Tools vs. Physical Learning Tools
Learning has traditionally taken place within a bricks and mortar institution, i.e. a school, college, or university, using physical tools like textbooks, chalk boards, whiteboards, and pen and paper. However, the rapid expansion of the digital age has seen a shift begin to occur in education. An increasing number of teachers and students are supplementing traditional teaching and learning methods with digital tools.
What are the benefits of digital learning tools?
We have a strong belief that today's students should be well-prepared for the future, and digital tools can help ensure that they are prepared."
Julie Evans, CEO
- Julie Evans, CEO at Project Tomorrow
Many students now feel that their learning experience should be personalised, and this can be achieved using digital tools that allow education to be untethered from physical constraints. A digitally-rich learning experience can enhance the classroom experience, as well as enabling students to carry on learning outside of the classroom.
Digital tools include everything from the use of the internet for research purposes, to watching online tutorial videos, and online-based learning forums. All of these things allow students to expand on what they have learned in class, and further develop their own knowledge and understanding of a subject in a way that is much more accessible and digestible for them.
What digital learning tools are available?
There are hundreds and thousands of different digital tools that can aid learning, but some are more popular and effective than others. Here are a few that are certainly worth looking into further:
- Kahoot! – A tool that allows users to create quizzes and questionnaires to test knowledge and aid learning in a game-like format.
- Skype – Video calling that enables remote learning; for example, students could have meetings with their dissertation tutor remotely.
- Google Knowledge Graph – An enhanced way of searching; it consists of short and accurate answers that save you from digging through search results.
- instaGrok – A search engine that generates videos, articles, imagery, and terms, helping students to conduct research effectively.
- Wolfram Alpha – Part encyclopaedia, part calculator; this tool allows students to access systemised knowledge in an easy-to-use way.
- Duolingo – A language-learning app that is useful for first time learners and those who want to brush up on their language skills.
- iTunes University – A free library of educational resources, including books, videos, lectures etc, that can be used on an iPhone/iPad running iOS 7 or higher.
- Plotly – Create and share graphs and charts in a user-friendly, web-based format.
- Prezi – Create interactive presentations and collaborate with peers on projects in real time.
- Quizlet – Create study tools like flashcards, quizzes, and games that can be accessed on desktop or mobile devices and shared with others.
- Cold Turkey – A tool that blocks out applications ad websites that can cause a sdistraction, helping you to remain focused.
- Focus Booster – Helps you to focus your time effectively by reminding you to take breaks regularly and monitoring how long you've been working for.
- RescueTime – Helps you to monitor what you spend your time on when you are using your computer, thus helping to analyse your productivity.
- SlugBooks – Compares prices of textbooks from different retailers to help you find the best prices for buying and renting textbooks.