Digital technologies impact all of society today, including those that drive knowledge and learning. Digital technologies allow for rapid access to a large portion of worldwide knowledge. The emergence of digital technologies in the field of professional or academic training has greatly influenced the behaviours of trainees. For example, now they can follow an online training program (eLearning) be it by their computer, smart phone or tablet and be virtually guided by their trainer remotely.

What are the positive effects of digital technology on learning and subsequently on education?

Before tackling this topic, it is of interest to explore what the advantages these new information and communication technologies versus print support documents. The unlimited access to knowledge is one of the main ones. In addition, digitization allows for saving time and facilitates the transfer of one source of support to another. And finally, the interactivity component allows users to classify and exchange information which adds up to a considerable advantage.

In terms of training programs and learning, several aspects are positively impacted by digital technology.

Memorization, for instance, is favourably affected by digital media. In fact, the advent of illustrations is – through the repetition of written information through visuals – a strong catalyst for improved memorization.

The quality of the training program is an essential element to consider as these new technologies must first be seen as an opportunity to personalize and customize training devices to keep them relevant and fresh.

Along with those features, the use of digital technology as a means of varying educational and user-friendly methods is a solution which contributes to the overall improvement and efficiency of training programs.

The tracking of learning and the ability to follow up on the progress of trainees are facilitated and reinforced by the functionality offered by new technologies. By the same token, these technologies have a positive impact on the motivation of trainees when they are steered towards using digital tools.

To illustrate these findings, there are three types of training that were born from digital technology:

  • Mobile learning offers trainees the opportunity to train themselves anywhere and at any time to answer the need to improving overall competency;
  • Digital learning allows for the customization of the training process;
  • Blended learning makes sense for remote learning to gain knowledge and on-site training to work as a group.In conclusion, the main challenge to overcome is the democratization of the usage of digital technology and accompanying new educational methods. The array of possibilities it can offer is what makes technology such a powerful agent of change.

Caroline Irrmann, web editor