16 August 2021

Finger touching a virtual screenDigital learning is an essential part of education and understanding how to effectively use technologies to support students must be a priority for all educators, according to University of South Australia learning analytics expert Professor Shane Dawson.

Prof Dawson will deliver a public lecture discussing the future impact of digital learning on schools, business and community at UniSA’s Mount Gambier campus tomorrow night, Tuesday 17 August.

“New technologies will be particularly important in regional communities, erasing existing physical barriers to a quality education,” Prof Dawson says.  

“Innovations in technology are transforming digital learning, creating immersive access to education in places where it’s not been possible before.

“Virtual reality environments can bring resources into your living room, allowing you to visit the Louvre, explore the Great Barrier Reef or discover the deep reaches of outer space without leaving your home.

“Technologies can also help regional communities open themselves up to the world, creating new businesses opportunities and networks for locals.”

The shift to online, accelerated by the global pandemic, has demonstrated that we already have a variety of digital learning tools at our fingertips.

Prof Dawson will outline the role of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence in future education settings and what it means for learning, teaching, and career transitions.

As UniSA Executive Dean of Education Futures, Prof Dawson oversees researchers and educators who are working closely with South Australian schools on digital learning.

He says it is crucial to establish communities of learners in these new spaces while using technology to personalise the learning experience.

“The popular catchphrase that we must educate students for jobs that don’t yet exist has been overstated, but realistically most students today will undergo more frequent and more significant transitions in their careers,” Prof Dawson says.

“This will require constant upskilling, reskilling or radical career changes. In this landscape, access to education and remote communities of learners will be essential and an educator’s ability to harness technology will be one of the keys to success in this digital learning environment.

“New models of online education can provide the flexibility to better personalise individual requirements and support learners on a lifelong education trajectory.

“Computed curriculum can also support and adapt to an individual’s academic level as well as motivation and career goals.”

The lecture ‘The future impact of digital learning on schools, business and the community’ will be held on 17 August at 6:30pm at UniSA’s Mount Gambier campus.

For more information and to register to attend, go to Eventbrite registration website.

Contact for interview: Professor Shane Dawson E: shane.dawson@unisa.edu.au
Media contact: Rosanna Galvin M: +61 434 603 457 E: rosanna.galvin@unisa.edu.au

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