Education has changed significantly over the past years. From the curriculum to the way students learn, everything is different nowadays. This is because society has evolved, and technology has impacted the education system too. Students now can take online classes, which provide numerous benefits. For this reason, e-learning is much more appealing, as it opens up many opportunities.
Today’s learning differs from yesterday’s in that it enables students to move at their own pace and find plenty of resources to expand their knowledge. Nowadays, you have the freedom not to be physically present in the classroom and still attend classes. This would not have been possible in the past, and it’s essential to acknowledge technology’s role in this improvement.
Here are the 5 key differences between present education and past education.
A shift from passive to active learning
When thinking about the learner’s profile from the past, this image comes to mind: you sit, listen and answer your teacher’s questions, doing as told. This is called passive learning, which is common in the traditional education system. The teacher communicates a lot of information that students have to understand at once, and this offers few opportunities for teachers to check whether they have grasped the content. Moreover, passive learning can lead to boredom because students don’t engage in the topic.
Today’s education system has improved, focusing more on active learning compared to the past. This approach is student-centered, allowing learners to participate in discussions and activities. This helps them develop critical thinking skills and engages them more; thus, they find it easier to understand the topic. Moreover, active learning encourages innovation and creativity and empowers students to create their own learning experiences. Unlike passive learning, active learning fosters a skill-set that will benefit students later in life. Passive learning focuses on memorization instead of sense-making, which doesn’t provide long-term benefits.
Endless resources in present education
In the past, there were limited teaching and learning resources, and they consisted of blackboards, books, and a few other basics. Today’s education has significantly improved, as it provides endless resources that students find exciting. The digital classroom is not a future concept that one can only dream of – it is a reality of the actual education system. Online learning enables students to rapidly access the information they need and ensures it is customizable and matches their needs – all it takes is one click.
The digital classroom also ensures students are better equipped for employment. This isn’t easy to achieve in a traditional classroom that focuses more on the theoretical aspects and doesn’t enable students to practice what they learn. Digital learning allows students to develop different skills that will help them get relevant jobs. In other words, it prepares students for the real world and the different challenges they may face along the way.
Flexibility in today’s learning
Flexibility is another significant difference between today’s learning and yesterday’s. Students can learn at their own pace, whenever and wherever they want, which isn’t possible in traditional classrooms. Commuting is no longer an issue; you can study from home if that’s what you prefer. All you have to do is look for the best tutoring websites and pick what suits the most, and then you’re ready to begin your digital learning journey. Online classes allow you to study in a setting that is right for you – whether it’s a library, a coffee shop, or a park. It doesn’t matter where you choose to study; as long as you have a laptop or tablet and a reliable internet connection, it’s up to you to decide where your study sessions will take place.
Today’s learning opportunities also take away the pressures from traditional learning. Unfortunately, competition is common in traditional classrooms, affecting students’ mental health. Not everyone can handle the pressure in the classroom setup, making students vulnerable to developing symptoms of anxiety and depression. On the contrary, digital learning focuses on creating an environment more conducive to learning at your own speed, without the unnecessary pressure of competing with others. You can read notes and revise at a time when you can focus best. This can also reduce stress because you don’t have a fixed schedule. For instance, you can create your own revision timetable before an exam and prioritize the most important topics. With the proper techniques and resources like revision websites, students can efficiently prepare for an exam without letting stress overwhelm them.
Differences in cost
Cost is a critical factor in education. Traditional education involves different expenses, such as accommodation, activity fees, classes, meals, and books. However, things are different nowadays, as online learning decreases costs significantly. You no longer have to pay for paper handouts and other school supplies. In the past, one could never imagine this would be possible. Supposing you lack in budget, you can easily use a virtual setup.
Digital classrooms remove the need for paper, which can not only be costly, but harmful to the planet too. Students can access resources online, so they don’t need to keep separate books for studying. They can use the same resources yearly because they don’t damage or dull after use. This saves cost while also teaching learners to be environment-conscious.
Diversified assessment in today’s learning
Back in the past, there were only four types of assessment: worksheet, test, project, and essay. However, today’s learning involves multiple kinds of assessment, like creating movies, art installations, podcasts, multimodal presentations, and more. Today, more mediums are available, making learning more effective than in the past. In the past, the focus was on grades – numbers were the ones that illustrated a student’s performance. And yet, it didn’t provide an accurate insight into what students truly learned.
Nowadays, the focus is more on students’ knowledge than their grades. What matters is whether they understand and can apply what they learned and their opinion about a specific topic. The diversified assessment methods in present education allow students to see them as informative instead of punitive. They no longer feel pressured about grades; instead, they focus on checking their knowledge. Present education is based on life-long learning – the goal is to provide students with skills and knowledge they can efficiently use in the future.