We asked an education specialist if they thought that digitisation would bring about the death of the classroom. Will the physical classroom or lecture theatre where rows of students face a teacher, furiously writing notes become increasingly unimportant thanks to the emergence of the digital one?
Digitisation and our ever-increasing dependence on technology means we’re now questioning if or where classroom learning fits into our technological future. Do the pros of digitisation outweigh the cons, and does the classroom still have a place in our business schools when students increasingly source more information online?
Undoubtedly digitisation provides accessibility to knowledge. The clear advantage over the traditional classroom is information can be accessed anytime and anywhere from any device. This provides learners with the flexibility to learn their way and not be constrained to times and locations. And it’s the student population that is driving technological adoption. Generation Y is more digitally savvy than ever before, owns smartphones and tablet computers and uses social media almost ubiquitously. They have high expectations that technology can provide benefits associated with remote working and the ability to collaborate with colleagues or friends from anywhere. But will they really give up on attending class?
There will always be those subjects that demand physical learning. Digitisation isn’t going to do away with sport or physical education for example. Nor will it eradicate the need for social interaction.
In reality, classrooms will become a blended environment with digital learning, where physical and digital work together. In order for classrooms to survive in the long term, business schools will incorporate digital learning into their delivery before, during or after classroom sessions. This blended method enables a more complex and individual learning experience for the students. It also creates a role for the lecturers to become facilitators, helping to generate discussion and put the courses and content into context for the students instead of simply ‘downloading’ their knowledge whilst rows of students scribble away.
In response to the question - will digitisation bring about the death of the classroom? -The answer is clear - "The classroom isn’t going to go away - it will be enhanced by the virtual interactions that happen online."
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