23 Mar Engaging and Effective Education through Digital Media
A great transformation happened along with the storm of Covid -19 – Online education and work from home. During the lockdown period, we realised that digital media has an important roles in effective education and employment also. Many became video creators during this period. Now you can see the boom in online courses. You can find several online paid or free courses on YouTube and other websites.
Let’s talk about how the use of digital media enhances our education system. But before that I want you to know this fact about social media. These data are taken from the internet.
More than 800 million people use a smartphone in India. Around 2 billion people use WhatsApp in the world and more than 550 million users are from India. Two-year kids to senior citizens also use YouTube for entertainment, information and education. Zoom and Google played a very significant role during the Covid lockdown. We all attended our online classes by using these Apps. We have seen a boom in the online education sector. Thus we can say today’s society is becoming a digital world.
Engaging and effective education through digital media
Our traditional teaching methods are also changing and becoming digital.
Digital tools enhance our learning and teaching. We learn and engage easily through some digital tools if used properly. Many colleges/schools upgrading their classrooms into digital classrooms.
Benefits of digital media in education
(1) Student engagement increases – If digital tools are used properly then it increases the student engagement in class. We can ask questions, raise hands, show our emotions through emojis and even participate in polls.
(2) Multiple resources to solve difficult concepts – Digital tools help us to solve difficult concepts through multiple resources. There are hundreds of resources available in the internet like – Solved questions, design, research papers on the same topic, video explanations, etc.
(3) Easy to understand a difficult concept – Digital tools like illustration, images, design, Google Map, Cartoon character with stories, etc helps us to understand lessons easily.
(4) Increases interest – If you are learning and getting rewards as encouragement then it increases your interest in learning. We pay full attention to learning.
(5) More engagement and interactions – Digital tools help us to engage and interact also during class. Digital tools provide us with a platform to communicate. We can send assignments and conduct online tests, quizzes, and games also.
If a teacher shares his/her knowledge by properly using digital media then it increases the active participation of students, makes concepts easy to understand, and enhances their learning and experiences.
Opportunities and challenges
Hundreds of online courses started by famous institutions and individuals. There is competition in the digital market. You may be getting a lot of advertising emails and Ads in your Social Media applications.
I also created online courses – Discipleship Training Course and Christian Doctrines Course. I see a lot of opportunities and experienced some challenges also in digital media education. I as a Youtuber (Digital Educator) would like to share with you the importance and some challenges of the digital education sector.
Importance of digital media education/online courses
1. Teach or reach millions – We can teach 1000 students by using paid Zoom Application but if we make the class live via a YouTube channel then we can teach the same to millions at the same time. We can reach thousands of people right from our homes.
2. Lifetime video availability – If you are recording your live class videos then your recorded videos become digital assets. It remains a lifetime in the internet publically or privately. You can use those videos to create online courses.
3. Flexible class – Most of the online courses are made by recorded videos. After enrolling in the course you are free to decide when to watch video lectures. Whenever you want, you can get access and revisit the course.
4. Engaging – You can use different tools or images for illustration purposes. Images and illustrations help us to teach lessons easily. We can play online quizzes or interactive games also.
5. Easy & catchy – Visual effects are more catchy than traditional board teaching. We use only our textbooks in a traditional classroom but when we use some visual effects then we teach effectively. Visual aids are more catchy than traditional board teaching.
7. Cost efficiency – Traditional classroom requires an infrastructure (building), tables, chairs, blackboard, staff, fans, etc. So it becomes costly. But digital classroom teaching and learning requires lesser investment and thus it becomes low-cost efficiency.
8. Automate – Some tools can make your courses in automated mode. Bots AI system will work on your behalf 24/7 and your courses will run automatically without you.
9. Short & sweet – Traditional classroom teaching takes longer than social media teaching. Now because of the excessive use of social media short-form videos, our concentration power is decreasing day by day. So most people like to watch 5 to 7 minutes videos. Therefore online teachers are also trying to keep their lessons short and sweet.
10. New Education Policy – NEP encourages us to use digital tools for education. So this policy also encourages us to upgrade all schools/colleges digitally and involve ineffective education by using digital tools.
Challenges & limitations
I started a YouTube channel (Life HTA) in October 2017. I have gone through a lot of challenges and still facing some. I would like to share my experiences with you.
1. Virtual world – Online learning is purely virtual so it reduces physical interaction and exercises. Extreme use can reduce your interest to meet people in person.
2. Privacy at stake – There are several applications for digital learning. They have access to our photos, videos, contacts, location, etc. Our privacy is in their hands. I got threats from Hackers but thank God everything is fine now. As a creator, I try to hide my current location.
3. Time Killer – Most of us get bored in an online class and tend to use Instagram, Facebook, and other entertainment applications during class. It kills our time.
4. Rural population left out – Still a large number of people not using a smartphone because of some reasons. Mostly rural and economically weaker people are not having the privilege to use Internet-connected mobile phones. They are still unreachable.
5. Editing skills required – To create online courses or a video you require video editing skills. If we are not camera friendly then we hesitate to make videos. It stops us to impact digital society.
6. Some equipment required – Some of us are camera friendly and willing to create online courses but not having enough digital tools as a camera stand, lighting, space, microphone, and a good mobile phone. So many of us are not able to create online courses.
7. Lacking teamwork – If hundreds of participants respond to questions and answers then it becomes difficult to check all of them. We fail to do proper follow-up also. It requires a big team also.
8. Lack of upgradation – We need to constantly upgrade ourselves and our methods of teaching and learning otherwise we will be outdated. Most of us still find it difficult to adjust with new digital gadgets.
9. Chances to be addicted – If anyone spends a lot of time in social media then there are chances to be addicted. Extreme use of digital education can cause social media addiction also.
10. Limited & focus – Many people create online courses on various topics and fail to gain the trust of the audience. It would be better if we focus on any specific micro niche. We should select a very specific area or topic and create online courses around the same topic.
Our God is creative so why not we…? We should be creative enough to communicate His words through our life and digital media also. Digital media tools can make our education better, enhanced, and engaging, but we should remember that there are some challenges also. We should use digital media wisely for His holistic mission. Let us upgrade ourselves first.
John Tirkey, serving among college students with UESI in Jharkhand, lives with his wife Priscilla, a School Teacher. They are active in social media – Life HTA, email@example.com