Little is more dispiriting for a student than to feel cut off and isolated when trying to learn. In certain circumstances education is regarded as a commodity, a vehicle for stuffing heads full of facts, with insufficient opportunities for interaction and feedback. This de-personalization of education can lead to students being treated as a homogeneous group rather than being considered as individuals.
This type of educational approach can be demotivating for students. They need to be encouraged to be responsive both to tutors and to fellow students and be clear they are regarded as individuals. This allows them to respond to the demands of a course far more effectively, as people are social animals and tend not to flourish in isolation.
Using technology effectively
The majority of students will be familiar with computers in a classroom environment, and many will have access to a computer at home. Once again the issue of depersonalization comes up as students retreat into their world of research and general computer use. The march of online education opportunities now allows students to explore and experience learning at a distance, though this approach inevitably brings up the question of separation from a social group.
However, providers of online courses have worked hard to ensure that students are integrated into their programs, learning through multimedia experiences using advanced technology coupled with innovative tools. Bryant & Stratton, for example, have developed online education solutions that have students and their needs at the heart of the courses.
Students enter an interactive learning environment and use high quality textbooks, being taught by qualified teachers who are eager to help. The interactive tools allow students to communicate both with teachers and other members of the class, bringing the all-important human element of learning into play. Information can be shared, thorny problems discussed and it’s a simple way to get to know other people. There is also a useful career service from Bryant & Stratton that helps to prepare students for the workplace.
Digital communication does not have to be an isolating experience. The advances in technology now permit the online work to be responsive to needs and allows students to feel they are part of an organization that has their best interests at heart.
Digital networks are being developed to link students up with others, allowing students to ask questions and connect with others who are studying the same subjects. This concentration on engagement can open up new horizons for students who may be struggling with an aspect of their course and needing a look from another angle or from someone who has some experience and can help.
Once again the importance of that human interaction comes to the fore, helping to enhance the educational experience and make connections that might otherwise never have happened. As new waves of digital communication emerge, a global network of students and support is evolving to meet 21st century education needs.