Learners learn in various ways and contexts. This involves being taught in a physical classroom, interacting with the environment. It also involves observation and practical experiments outside the classroom. In simple terms, the learning environment is a combination of several factors. Such as the physical learning location, culture and context or any setup in which students acquire knowledge. The learning environment also covers how learners interact with each other. Aand how the educator organizes and facilitates the learning process. In the recent past, technology has greatly influenced the learning process. From teaching to assessment methods and everything in between. Digital age learners are more technologically advanced. Due to the emerging trends in technology and infusion of technology in the learning process.
Striking a Balance between Technology and Traditional Learning
Technology has positively impacted the learning environment. But, there are still some aspects of traditional learning environment that are crucial to creating and maintaining a perfect learning environment. These thus elevate the learner’s ability to learn. There are so many alternatives when creating a learning environment, and we can never settle for one as the standard. The main difference between traditional and learning environment is that the former is more teacher-centric, while the latter is student-centred. If we can borrow some aspect of traditional learning approach and introduce technological methodology. Then, we can have a perfect learning setup for the digital generation. In fact, they are vastly knowledgeable about computers, the internet and mobile devices.
An ideal learning environment puts into consideration the characteristics of learners and culture. It also makes available learning and teaching tools. As well as the purpose of learning and assessment of learners. Some of the basic components of traditional education need to be embraced. They are the physical presence of the teacher and the learner. As well as the art of pen and paper. Being present allows the teacher to directly engage learners. And also gives the learners an opportunity to interact with others and learn from them. On the other hand, actual writing on a paper develops the learner mentally. And gives them more connection with what they are learning. Physical presence also helps pupils to improve their communication skills and gain the confidence to express themselves either orally or in writing.
Challenges with Technology
Even though technology is a very important element in modern learning, having a purely technological learning environment can be challenging and harmful to learners. Technology has affected the brain of the digital age learners reducing their concentration span, which affects the traditional reading ability. Another challenge is that some technologies can be very expensive hence unaffordable for some schools and learners. For this reason, it is important to combine both the traditional and modern approach to learning so as to improve the learning process and at the same time encourage critical thinking, creativity and research skills.
However, there are many other aspects of technology that will make the learning environment more interactive and be engaging for learners. The use of virtual reality tools makes learning more real and lively by helping the student to relate what they know with the real world. For instance, you can make a trip to a foreign country to experience what you have learnt in class in a virtual environment. Also, multimedia content is more interesting and will keep learners more focused than reading physical books. The internet is also a critical research tool when used with the right guidance and discipline, as there are millions of online libraries and tonnes of information from which the students can learn. Technology also allows teachers to monitor learners’ development as well as enable continuous evaluation for learners.
Using both traditional and technology creatively will create the perfect learning environment that will optimize the ability to learn and make teaching easier for educators.