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Part of Western Governors University

September 4, 2019

Online University Experience

The evolution of learning in the Digital Age.

The way we learn is changing. The way we teach must change too.

Professionals at a table with laptops

As computers and mobile phones become integral parts of our lives, the way we learn is rapidly changing. And you may be wondering, what type of changes can be expected? First will be how teachers teach, and second will be how people learn. 

Getting Smart asserts the importance of empowering teachers to adapt their teaching skills to reflect the digital world. “And teachers can’t do it alone – they need district and state leaders to invest in meaningful professional development opportunities that let them explore new teaching practices.” Teachers entering the workforce in Nevada, many who have received teaching degrees from WGU Nevada Teachers College, will be relied upon to teach the next phase of workers in our state, and to do so, they will be required to experiment with a variety of technologies—while also preparing students for the ever-changing workforce.   

Apart from computers, devices, and even changes in IT, we must also prepare for robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation. Each of these alone could drastically disrupt the future as we know it. And together, they could create a future we cannot even imagine. So, how do we prepare for that? Well, teachers will need to prepare to teach students (from an early age on to college) because how we learn will be altered, creativity will become important. 

Biz Ed says that “about 15 percent of jobs will require cognitive skills such as creativity and mathematical reasoning. Creativity will become one of the most important skills for the workforce, because creative people will invent new business models, products, ways of working, and customer experiences.” How do you teach creativity? You can’t, but you can inspire learning. 

“The passion to learn will be incredibly important for students going forward,” said WGU Nevada Chancellor Spencer Stewart. “The passion to learn has always been important, but with changes in the workforce and the emerging digital age, continued education will be vital to stay relevant and informed. Learning is so much easier when individuals are zealous about the topic they are learning. So, students of any age should be encouraged to pursue the things they care about.”

The greatest importance in the digital age will not be how we learn, or even how we teach. It will be to inspire. Students will have many industries to pursue, more so than ever, and should follow their passions in that endeavor.  

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