Advanced technology contributes to creativity and innovation, and positively affects productivity in many sectors. In the past few years, the education sector has become one of the most areas that benefit from the continuous development of technology
A report by Metaari— a commercial analysis firm that tracks advanced learning technology—revealed that investment in digital learning has grown to over $22bn between 2015 and 2017. This rapid growth is driven by the high demand for digital technology in the different stages of education, from primary to university.
With this dramatic growth, digital learning will undoubtedly by the future of education. Patfort’s weekly report highlighted the innovation that digital learning brings to the education sector in general, and in the Middle East and North Africa region specifically.
Digital learning aims to achieve two goals: improving the education base, and enabling schools to provide better education to students in all stages.
According to Patfort, digital learning investment in the region is still lower than the global average. International digital learning institutions have raised $9.52bn investments in 2017, including $397.6m in India and more than $1.77bn in China. While the three digital learning start-ups operating in the Middle East received only $1.26m.
With the rapid growth of the number of students and global interest in education, the Middle East governments should start to pay more attention to emerging digital learning companies, and identify the educational environment provided in their countries.
Open-Ended Learning in The Classroom
Imagine a science teacher working through a lesson with students. In the traditional classroom-setting resources would be limited to textbooks, teachers, and if the students were lucky some basic multimedia. Today, with tools such as SMART Boards, and personal devices (laptops/ tablets), the students have virtually limitless resources, and a wide range of ways to consume them. In this scenario students can explore the lesson in their own ways, while the teacher works to highlight key topics, and answer questions as they come up.
Physical Presence Isn’t a Requirement
Digital learning has also opened a new way of learning for students who are unable to physically attend a traditional classroom. Video conferencing technologies allow someone at home to be equally as interactive during a lesson as someone who is present in the class.
Information Access and Searchability
Before digital learning really took off, if you needed to find a piece of information it would take considerable time and effort to find what you are looking for. Now search engines give the ability to search documents for key phrases, thus both students and teachers have access to unprecedented information, allowing them to access the information they need at the exact moment they need it.
Students Can Progress at Their Own Pace
Education is not a one-size-fits-all product, and in every classroom, there are some students who grasp concepts slower than others. Digital learning allows these students to retain access to the resources they need long after the class has moved on to new topics, meaning they can continue to practice and progress at their own pace.