The Evolution of Learning Tools and Techniques in Education

Posted by: Tony Glockler, Co-founder of SolidProfessor

November 18th, 2015

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The digital revolution is making education in highly technical fields like engineering and design more accessible, engaging, and flexible. This evolution has helped educators rethink how they deliver their content and look to a classroom model that seamlessly integrates technology, mobile devices, and independent learning with face-to-face interaction and collaboration. Below are four techniques an increasing amount of educators are implementing to complement learning in the digital age.

  1. Hands-on learning: Include hands-on learning opportunities that teach students how topics are relevant to their lives. Before the digital revolution, hands-on learning tglockler_newexperiences were relegated to field trips. Now, students can interact through digital resources without ever leaving the classroom.
  2. Flipped classrooms:In a traditional classroom, many instructors do not have time to answer questions during their lectures because of the extensive content they have to cover in a short amount of class time. In a flipped classroom, students have the opportunity to go over digital lectures as many times as they need and bring questions to class for discussion. This increases student engagement and opens the door for more opportunities for hands-on learning and active discussions in the classroom.
  3. Microlearning: Studies show that students learn better and remember more information through small “bite sized” chunks, rather than lengthy lessons. Attention spans are dropping and shorter, targeted lessons helps students focus on key concepts. Digital learning resources are moving towards concise lessons interspersed with complimentary visuals and activities that keep students more engaged than lengthy, monotonous lessons.
  4. Diversify learning: There are many types of learners. Some learn through seeing, some through hearing, some through touching, and some through the combination of the three. There are many tools to help diversify the learning experience, including podcasts, online videos, mind maps, and diagrams for students now available as digital resources.

The digital age has revolutionized the way instructors teach and the way students learn. Student habits have changed and educators should be aware. It is imperative for instructors to understand and integrate these techniques into their everyday curriculum to best maximize student learning.

Tony Glockler is the co-founder of SolidProfessor, an online learning company that specializes in software applications used in engineering and design. His passion is combining the best of instructional design and technology to help students, engineers and designers become more effective. Through SolidProfessor, Tony has helped schools and design teams keep up with their rapidly evolving software tools with an on-going guided learning experience. To learn more, visit


7 responses to “The Evolution of Learning Tools and Techniques in Education”

  1. Karol Rivera says:

    I am interested in “flipped classrooms”. Does this mean that students ask their questions online in a discussion forum and not in class? I would be interested in knowing the exact dynamics.

  2. Geri Hagler says:

    Thank you for this excellent and “concise” lesson!

  3. Dierdre Watkins says:

    I agree. I have implemented all four of these in my teaching. As a school, we are moving toward the flipped classroom model. It gives us more time for exploration and discovery in the classroom.

  4. Vera says:

    Re #2, I would argue that in a high needs elementary school classroom, flipped also allows for more personal attention outside of class for students who I simply cannot get to during school time.

    I spend several hours after school each day and on weekends, checking with students on Edmodo, and following up with questions and posts in our virtual classroom. (Of course, this also stretches my work day, but then, I didn’t get into this gig cause it was easy, right?! Lol!)

  5. Kamela West says:

    Very informative. Thanks.

  6. Brian Taylor says:

    I do agree with the MicroLearning part and it is almost if digital learning tools, ex. computers, laptops, tablets, chromebooks, websites, and programs have given us “a.d.d.” so to speak. The very same thing that helps us in so many ways, can also be our biggest distraction.

  7. Megan Endicott says:

    Great article! I love how you concisely pull together these major indicators to support technology integration in the classroom. I find your comments on microlearning very interesting. Attention spans are getting shorter, and digitals are definitely a great way to handle the growing problem.

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