Digital Education: It’s Not Just Technology

The very idea that anything related to Digital Education is going  to be wrapped up in technology in some way, seems almost obvious. Something we might take for granted to the point where it simply goes without ever needing to be said. And yet, more often than not, Digital Education has far less to do with technology than it does with educational access.

In some ways it seems counter-intuitive, and understandably so. After all, many of us exchange the terms “Digital” and “Technology” without really considering the possibility that we are  conflating the two. Not so much with regard to the actual definitions of the two terms, but, the truth is that when we apply the additional word “Education,” more specifically, when we say “Digital Education,” the technology is certainly there – significantly, to be fair –  but, in practice we find that the real difference (between “Digital Education” and, let’s say, “non Digital Education”) is really about methodology. About access.

Digital Education is ultimately about things like access to resources. Digital Education is about allowing students to circumvent issues and barriers of location, for example attending a school with an expert teacher miles if not time zones or even continents away. And that means that other vital resources are also part of the Digital Education equation.  Things like the cost of time, and transportation, and expertise, and so on can become far more manageable through Digital Education than might otherwise be possible.

Perhaps through technology Digital Education can being about any number of benefits, but, in the end it’s the Educational benefits that matter, not simply the technology to implement it, that makes Digital Education worthwhile.

Richard Maxwell

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