By Marist College, Digital Education
Dr. Julin Sharp, Ed.D. – Director of Digital Education
Ms. Corri Nicoletti, M.S.Ed. – Educational Technology Specialist
Ms. Jaime Lynne Bishop, M.S. – Instructional Designer

Our world is full of technology. We carry small computers with us every day and have easy access to information. Why shouldn’t our education and professional development be just as easily accessible? Digital education should be effective, diverse, and contain quality content to be valuable to 21st century learners.

Effectiveness of Digital Education

Digital education is an effective way to deliver professional development. Professionals can dig deeper into their industry by taking online course modules specific to their needs while becoming more knowledgeable and proficient in their ever-changing industries. Digital education initiatives utilize technology resources to convey complex ideas clearly. Technology resources are offered in a variety of tools and channels through which learners can participate in self-paced online modules and promote an active self-managed learning experience.

Utilizing videos in online course modules allows professionals to learn a variety of skills in their industry in an interesting way. Video centric platforms are powerful not only because they teach, but also inspire and provide a touch of entertainment. Video platforms enhance the learning experience because they can illustrate processes and complex ideas through simple graphics and animations, lending themselves to a fun and engaging digital environment that inspire and motivate professionals to grow within their industry.

Diversity of Digital Education

The vast diversity of digital education is evident when you examine the many facets of this approach. Consider the various advantages and adaptability of these modules when it comes to access, audience and purpose. Digital education and the online environment lends itself to serve as a preferable format to learners without mandating a specific block of time while presenting content that is accessible from an assortment of personal devices and nearly any location. Learners are presented with a dynamic educational system that provides the adaptability to cater to various learning styles, allowing for an individualized approach and differentiated learning.

Quality of Digital Education

As a learner, you should evaluate the source of the content. Look for the credentials of the person, company, or school who produced the content. Make sure that the qualifications are acceptable for what you are learning. You would want to learn how to fix a car from someone who was a mechanic, not someone who was an artist. However, if you wanted to learn how to paint an amazing still-life portrait the artist would be your go-to person. Be discerning about whose content you choose.

If you want to create quality content to share with your employees, or to generate a following on the web, here are a 4 things to consider:

  1. Determine the learning objectives.
    This will serve as your road map as you create great content. It is difficult to drive somewhere if you don’t know your destination. The same is true of creating content. It is hard to create great content if you don’t know what you want your end result to be.
  2. Choose an engaging delivery method.
    Learners in the 21st century like to feel connected to the community so choosing a delivery method that allows you to be seen will increase the quality of your content.
  3. Make each learning object brief.
    YouTube statistics show that most people will not watch a video after the 5 minute mark, so make sure your content is engaging and broken into small chunks. Chunking content allows the learner to personalize their learning path. They can decide, or the employer can decide, which modules to put together to create the best possible learning experience for them.
  4. Make the content easily accessible.
    We live in a world of mobile devices and people want their content to be accessible. Be sure the content you create is easy to get to, easy to load, and available on mobile devices.

Digital education leads to unlimited learning opportunities throughout all industries when it is effective, diverse, and contains quality content. These key components partnered with an engaging digital environment result in valuable and motivating learning experiences. Taking a course through DMA and Marist will take your career to the next level!