A Digital World and How it Effects Education

Living in a world where we have constant access to technology and the internet influences social, personal and work environments.  We need to recognise that this also has an impact on teachers and students in our education systems.  There is a digital expectancy from students, parents, employers, teachers, government and the wider community as identified by Howell (2011 page 59).  We live in a digital world. (Click the link to view 21st Century Education the impact of technology)



Image sourced 21centech.com

Today’s students are ‘digital natives’ as described by Howell (2012 Chapter 1). They have been born in a time when technology plays a large roll in their everyday lives. Mobile technologies have created a world where we are constantly involved, connected, interactive and life long learners.  We have the convenience and opportunities for connecting to the outside world from the ease of  portable devices. Students today often have a large digital home and personal life, others are disadvantaged due to a digital divide.  Therefore it is necessary to incorporate digital learning into their learning. 

Prensky (2008), identifies that students are often not involved in planning for their learning and educators need to consider 21 century students’ needs when teaching to provide the best learning environments.



Technology plays a powerful role in supporting learning. Gardner’s (1983) theory that all people have multiple intelligences, demonstrates to educators that we need to be aware not all children learn the same. Constructivist learning theory by Jean Piaget says children learn more effectively through the active design and development of projects meaningful to them (Vogel-Walcutt, Gebrim, Bowers, Carper, & Nicholson,2011). Previously many education systems had a teacher teach at the front, while the children all sat still listening.   The first big technologies in education were the TV’s and projectors that merely “delivered” information straight to students, not unlike a standard lecture, Gardner (2010, paragraph 6).  But technology has changed, todays technology isn’t limited to delivering information, it involves students and expands learning. We can use today’s technology to support the way individual children learn and engage by providing a range of learning experiences. Technology as a tool will support research, ideas and collaboration, and support the way individual children learn and engage by providing a range of learning experiences chosen and developed by educators.   Educators can then offer support and guidance and become facilitators to children’s learning. 


Click on the above picture to view some helpful hints about technology tools, professional development and resources.

Technology plays an important role in education for todays educators and learners.  Educators need to be aware of their pedagogy, ongoing commitment to professional development and learning as well as their role when incorporating technology.   Students need to be aware that technology is a tool to be utilised for ongoing learning, its purpose is not just entertainment.



Sources and References

Videos and images unless the source is stated under them are live links and take you to their source, as such they are not required in the reference list.

Gardner, H. (1983) Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York : Basic Books.

Gardner, H. (2010) Can Technology exploit our many ways of knowing. Retrieved from https://howardgardner01.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/can-technology-exploit-our-many-ways-of-knowing1.pdf   

Howell, J. (2012) Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Kuehn, L. (2012, Winter). Manage your digital footprint. Our Schools, our Selves, 21, 67-69. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/1035333926?accountid=10382

Prensky, M. (2008) The 21st Century Digital Learner. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner-technology-2008

Vogel-Walcutt, J. J., Gebrim, J. B., Bowers, C., Carper, T. M., & Nicholson, D. (2011). Cognitive Load Theory vs. Constructivist Approaches: Which Best Leads to Efficient, Deep Learning? Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27 (2), 133-145. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00381.x/full





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