We have recently discussed whether or not digital schools are the future of education. Digital learning is becoming increasingly popular, as seen by the decreasing number of k12 students who only study in classrooms since 2009. The total numbers of digital students in the U.S. have increased from 2.2mn in 2009 to 10.46mn. But in order for digital schools to become mainstream, there are a number of challenges that must be overcome first.
What are the challenges of adopting digital learning?
- The Infrastructure – It is a problem that both schools and students face. Most schools do not have IT infrastructure that can support large-scale eBooks and digital curriculum distribution. While a mature market like the United States has access to fast internet that can support large data downloads required for digital books, most of the developing world still struggles with this.
- Resistance to change – Let’s face it, the biggest impediment to technological change has never been technology itself, rather it has been the people affected by the change. The teachers, administrators, librarians, and parents are all stuck in old ways of learning. The challenge lies in trying to get them to adapt to digital ways of learning.
- Content curation – Digital learning is not limited to converting existing content and books to digital formats. In order to have its full effect, digital learning in schools must be accompanied by dynamic and interactive curated content. This curated content consumes time and effort that are often the reason for the increase in implementation costs.
- Technological changes – Digital curriculum are not one time investments. The curriculum needs to be constantly upgrading the platforms as and when technologies change. Technology shifts can have an important impact on existing content. This situation is similar to what corporate had to deal with when device manufacturers stopped supporting their flash-based eLearning content, and HTML5 came to the foray.
Digital learning in schools is going to rise in the future as more and more schools adopt it, but it has its fair share of challenges. Schools that adopt digital learning and new technology need thorough information on challenges they can face. Have you thought of the above challenges for your digital school, let us know in comments.
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