By Sean Connick | Published: 25th August 2023
Few educational sectors have been as adversely impacted by myths and outright falsehoods as the realm of Digital Education. Commonly heard phrases, such as "it's unregulated" or "students have no interaction with other students or teachers," have significantly contributed to this misinformation. In this article, we will explore the top eight myths of digital education, examining whether they have any basis in truth.
1. “Digital Education is a Shortcut to Learning”.While the progression of technology aims to enhance convenience in our lives, it's essential to recognize that its purpose isn't to substitute genuine learning. A recent Sky News article highlights the increasing apprehension regarding the utilization of AI chatbots in UK homework. The article reveals that a significant number of teachers struggle to differentiate between student-generated responses and those produced by machines. Retrieving answers from a machine does not contribute to the learning process; it's the actual journey of uncovering solutions and effectively conveying the information that remains pivotal in homework. The process of discovery and accurate communication stands as the primary learning outcome. Digital education should not be regarded as a shortcut to attaining quality education. Rather, its purpose lies in fostering a symbiotic relationship that enhances and complements traditional educational methods. Source.
2.” It's Only for Tech-Savvy Students:” It's a prevalent misconception that Digital Education demands a high level of computer literacy from students. One prevailing myth is that only technologically adept students can succeed in digital education. There will indeed be certain courses that necessitate a higher level of proficiency with technology., when in reality, with proper design, it can be accessible to learners of all skill levels. It's not just digital education that needs to be aware of perpetuating the stereotype that all students are tech-savvy, but traditional learning establishments as well. Source. Overall the majority of digital education learning courses will only require minimum levels of digital proficiency.
3. “Lack of Social Interaction”: This myth has its origins during the challenging times of the global pandemic when a large portion of the global population had to transition to remote learning. It is challenging to determine the precise percentage of students who were learning remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the UK, however, approximately 86% of classes were being conducted remotely.Source.Since then, courses have prioritized enhancing social engagement as a crucial goal. Many courses have adapted by incorporating group breakout sessions, one-on-one conversations with course leaders, and various other interactive elements. Source. Overall, digital education is steadily approaching similar levels of social engagement that traditional educational establishments can provide.
4.” Quality is Compromised”.Dispelling this notion entirely can be challenging, as certain organizations and platforms stand out ahead of their competitors in terms of quality at the Digital Education Awards, we have been privileged to showcase the finest in the field since 2020. Educators, parents/guardians, and students must conduct thorough research before enrolling in any course, ensuring they have a comprehensive understanding of what to anticipate. Overall, the evidence indicates that transitioning to an online learning environment typically does not compromise the quality of education, provided it is supported by a motivated and dedicated team of educators. Source.
5. “One-Size-Fits-All Approach”: This myth originates from traditional educational institutions where classroom-based teaching necessitated a certain degree of standardization. It has also become evident that traditional education led by teachers and educators is shifting away from the one-size-fits-all approach and adopting a more flexible method to cater to the diverse needs of their students. Source. However, digital education has the potential to provide a higher level of customization. Digital Education can provide meaningful personalized learning through courses tailored to accommodate the preferences of visual learners and a wide range of other learning styles. Additionally, many courses offer flexibility in study hours, making it easier to integrate learning into everyday life. Source.
6. “Lack of Credibility”.It's accurate that the rapid surge of digital adoption during the pandemic has strained governmental regulations, leading regulatory bodies to play catch-up in adapting to this changing landscape.Source.Efforts are currently underway at the national level to offer guidance and establish frameworks for digital education providers. In the European Union, notable progress is being made through initiatives such as the "Digital Education – Enabling Factors for Success" law. This legislation aims to provide a comprehensive European framework for digital education. As other jurisdictions are likely to follow suit by implementing their regulations and standards, it becomes increasingly important to conduct thorough research. Evaluating the affiliates and partners of digital education providers, along with seeking independent feedback, remains a critical step in ensuring a well-informed choice.
7. “Teacher Presence is Minimal”. There's a misconception that digital education lacks teacher involvement, but this is simply not true. While specific courses might have a more hands-off approach, many courses provide one-on-one engagement with educators through video sessions and feedback mechanisms. This ensures that students receive personalized attention and achieve the best possible outcomes.Source.It is essential for any education delivered through online courses to incorporate feedback and guidance from educators. This approach ensures the enforcement of positive results and a harmonious integration with the traditional classroom setting. Source.
8.“It's Only for Academic Subjects”.While some hold the belief that digital education is mainly suitable for academic subjects, the reality is that it can cater to a wide array of educational objectives. It spans from aiding kindergarten and primary school children in mastering early learning fundamentals to teaching STEAM concepts through hands-on products. Furthermore, digital education offers adult learners increased opportunities to resume studying by offering flexibility around their existing commitments. It has also entered the workplace arena, where numerous companies provide online courses for health and safety, data protection, and other statutory training.
If you found this article informative and encountered any myths or common misconceptions that you'd like to share, we encourage you to leave a comment or email us at email@example.com.We plan to incorporate your insights into part two of this discussion.
Moreover, there's still an opportunity to submit your applications for this year's awards!