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Education is undergoing radical changes. While education used to be mainly frontally held lectures, digital technologies today allow for a wide range of new possibilities.
Educators from all grade-levels are coming to realise the benefits of technology in the classroom. Typically, education is one of the last industries to make an extensive change, holding on to antiquated methods and practices. But through the digital transformation and the rise of educational technology, teachers have begun making drastic changes to their instruction, assessments, even the physical makeup of their classrooms, and at a much faster rate than expected.
Technology is Taking Over Every Corner in the School
Ted Talks, eLearning with thousands of enrolled students as well as online tutoring platforms radically change the way education is taking place. With the possibility for everyone to select from a wide range of pre-selected online lectures, teachers are increasingly taking on the role of coaches rather than one of the traditional lecturers. Numerous private providers of education products enter the market, and private individuals share their knowledge without pursuing commercial interests. Accordingly, the future role of traditional educational institutions is uncertain.
The concept of digitalisation is not novel and has existed for a while. However, with time, it has evolved. What digitalisation meant for students ten years back, now looks obsolete as a reference when talking about a present-day classroom.
- Today, you have students bringing their own devices, a laptop or a tablet, and accessing the lectures through an online portal, while they sit in the library.
- Now, there are classroom sessions, which focus on providing the immersive learning experience, thanks to the developments in virtual and augmented reality.
We are running into the 21st century where technology knows no bounds. This is the phase of radical development where technology is taking over every niche and corner. Smartphones, laptops, and tablets are no more unknown words. During this phase the education system is evolving for the sake of betterment, as this generation’s students are not born to be confined by the limits of simple learning; their curiosity is vast and cannot be catered with educational systems that were designed earlier. If we kept on teaching our children the way we showed them yesterday, we would deprive them of their tomorrow. Our old educational system cannot stand a chance in the 21st century. So we are compelled to use digitisation in our educational order.
Digitalisation in Classrooms
Technology in the classroom comes to life in the applications we use. With different forms, students can organise documents, keep a calendar, write down homework assignments, save presentations and share their work with others. New elements have been integrated, which has contributed to the evolution of the concept of digital transformation in schools.
The use of technology in classrooms provides many opportunities for teachers to create an active learning environment while fine-tuning their teaching methods to address the weaknesses of the class. The teachers can monitor data related to student login times (study time), downloads/uploads. Learning analysis algorithms can scan through message boards to evaluate big student problems and sentiments. The collaboration tools allow them to deliver graphical and textual content to their devices while engaging students in peer-to-peer learning. Further, real-time data tools in classrooms allow teachers to assess how students cope with new concepts.
Digitisation has no doubt changed our education system, but we cannot say that it has diminished the value of our old time classroom learning. Neither do we want something so priceless to turn into dust. The best part about the digitisation of education in the 21st century is that it is combined with the aspects of both; classroom learning and online learning methods. Walking hand in hand both act as a support system to each other, which gives a stronghold to our modern students. Digitisation in education has also proved to be the right method for saving resources. Online examination platforms have restricted the frivolous usage of paper, directly confining the cutting down of trees. This way the digitisation of education industry in the 21st century proves to be a boon to our society.
However, the transition to starting using digital tools does not always happen without problems. A lot of teachers are familiar with technical issues that occur primarily at the beginning of the class when tablets and smartphones are being used for teaching. Passwords are missing, batteries are empty, memories are full, and devices have the wrong applications. Dealing with the technical hassle steals time from teaching and learning and also causes frustration for both teachers and students. Too often this leads to a situation where it is just easier for everyone to leave the devices in the corner of the class to gather dust.
Practical issues like pointed on here are challenges we will overcome. In the future, the focus will lie on getting more teachers involved with the new concept by supporting them technically, with content, and by establishing reliable systems to control and analyse students’ participation.
Digitalisation if the School Administration
Effective administrative and management decisions are required for schools to operate efficiently and productively. When we talk about digital transformation in schools, the process also covers administrative practices, since digitisation can help schools make improved administrative decisions.
- Schools are digitising student records, which improve accessibility, storage, management, organisation and retrieving of the documents convenient, quick and less hectic.
- By analysing the data, school administrations are now looking into what’s working and what area of school management needs to be improved. With data becoming digitised, the process of analysis becomes more comfortable.
- Digitisation helps ensure that relevant information and record are kept secure and safe, which is otherwise not possible.
A study published in 2017 found that digital requirements transform the bureaucratic features of school organisation and that the effects of digital technologies on the performance and efficiency of schools as bureaucratic organisations are ambivalent. However, email technology seems particularly significant from a quantitative perspective. Indications for the transformative nature of real digital technologies concerning the school bureaucracies can be found for all bureaucratic categories. 
 Janetta Ainslee: Digitization Of Education In The 21st Century. E-learning Industry (2018)
 Veronika Gamper and Stefan Nothelfer: The Future of Education. Center for Digital Technology and Management (2015)
 Markus Dormann, Stefan Hinz, and Eveline Wittmann: Improving school administration through information technology? How digitalisation changes the bureaucratic features of public school administration. Educational Management Administration & Leadership (October 2017)
Lucubrate Magazine, Issue 46, November 9th, 2018
The photo on top: vectorfusionart