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Digital Transformation in Education: Revolutionizing Learning

Commonly mistaken for Digitization or digitization, Digital Transformation is one of those concepts that often has different meanings to different people. While going paperless or using technology to create digital sales streams are parts of “going digital,” digital transformation is much more than just that. By simple definition, digital transformation is the process of reevaluation and reinvention of traditional business operations using technology. It’s the means to enhance organizational operation, communication, and customer engagement by going digital.

Many companies in different industries benefit from digital transformation, and we have already discussed digitization in financial services and the retail industry in other articles. It allows them to automate operations, modernize processes, and increase workflow efficiency while boosting profits. Digital transformation allows businesses to go beyond their traditional methods and use innovative, new methods to connect with prospects. But how exactly does it affect the education sector?

The Need for Digital Transformation in Education

Gen Z grew up with technology, but Generation Alpha is the first generation born and raised in a completely digital world. While millennials were pencils and notebooks students, going to school with laptops, iPads, and smartphones is the new normal for Gen Z and Gen Alpha. There is a huge difference in the educational experience between these generations. Now, think about it, are our old, traditional education methods applicable to the digital generations?

Every industry or sector is advised to go through digital transformation, if simply for the incredible benefits it offers. But in sectors like education, the transformation is not about getting more; it’s a matter of survival. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, the very first places shut down were the schools and educational centers. The education disruption done by the pandemic clearly revealed that schools need to create an immediate and effective bond between technology and human resources. The act resulted in 1.5 billion students continuing their studies through online education. That certainly is the highlight of the education sector going through digital transformation. 

Digital transformation in the education sector is all about creating efficient and effective processes for both students and teachers. The education sector can benefit from digital transformation by improving students’ learning experience far more efficiently than traditional methods. 

Impact of Digital Transformation on Learning Experiences

Online education is, in fact, not the only way digital transformation affects learning experiences. The digital transformation in the education sector can positively affect both teachers and students by creating accessibility for everyone, personalizing learning experiences, increasing engagement, improving safety, and giving insights into students’ performances.

  • Education for Everyone

Online education does not just date back to the pandemic. Probably known as the very first steps in the educational digital transformation, technology allowed students around the world access to learning materials and resources. Anyone from anywhere can use technology to join an online course or training program. All they need is a device and a stable internet connection. Imagine how many disabled or unprivileged students can take advantage of this digital transformation.

Considering other new improvements in devices and software used in digital education, like text-to-speech and speech-to-text, there are no barriers anymore for students with disabilities either. 

  • Personalized Learning 

No two students learn the same way. The problem with traditional education methods is to expect a classroom of 20 students to act, learn, and deliver results at the same time, with the same quality. Digital educational tools are now creating an environment for students to learn new material at their own pace and by their personal preferences and skill sets.

In fact, technology is helping educators create specialized learning experience platforms to give students the freedom to combine learning materials with different resources and personalize their learning experience.

  • Engagement

We have seen how technology has affected the new generations’ engagement with social media. How can educators direct or use that engagement in education experiences? Teachers can use technologies like smart whiteboards, tables, projectors, chatbots, etc., to increase students’ engagement with learning new material. 

Teachers can also benefit from learning platforms to create and manage groups. These groups will increase engagement between students and create a more interactive way for them to effectively exchange information, get involved in discussions, and answer questions. 

  • Safety and Protection

Unfortunately, recent violent acts against the school system, e.g., the mass school shootings, have created a somewhat unsafe learning environment for both students and educators. Digital transformation can help in this area too. Schools can use IoT-enabled sensors, CCTV systems, IP cameras, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) to maintain safety and ensure the well-being of students and teachers are not at risk.

Face recognition tools can also help track school facilities and detect suspicious individuals or activities. Technology also provides social distancing control systems and thermal screening to prevent any contagion of COVID-19 and similar diseases.

  • Student Performance

Students and educators are not the only people involved in the digital transformation of the Education sector. Parents have a crucial effect on children’s learning experience and performance. Digital transformation allows parents to have a more efficient way to track their children’s learning progress. Tools are at work here to create an automation system that can regularly notify parents of student progresses and attendance reports.

Although this is pretty impressive, it’s not all. By having information on student performance, technology can create big data and give out insights. This data is extremely valuable as it helps students understand their strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. This can help parents and educators in giving career guides. The same tools can provide information on which potential occupations are suitable for the student based on skill sets, interests, and capabilities.

Digital Transformation in Education: Revolutionizing Learning

Key Technologies Driving Digital Transformation in Education

By now, you’re probably wondering what these technologies enhancing the education experience are. Let’s have a look at these key technologies, bringing lessons to life.

Artificial Inteligence 

According to Business Insider, HolonIQ estimates that education-focused AI will expand to a $6 billion market by 2025. AI has been affecting our lives in multiple aspects, but what’s really interesting about it is its effect on the education experience. Since the introduction of AI tutoring projects like Third Space Learning, students have been working with adaptive learning software and gamification techniques.

What AI is achieving in this field is helping students through the promotion of personalized learning. AI also has the capability to assist students in understanding the topics they struggle with and mastering them.

Not only students but teachers can benefit from using AI. It can greatly help automate grading progresses for multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank tests. This creates the opportunity for teachers to focus on personal interactions with students. 


Again with the help of AI, chatbots have proven to come in handy in the education sector. These go-to tools have all members of the education sector engaged, from students to teachers and even the administrative staff. 

Chatbots are performing a wide range of tasks in the education sector. They are a great source of Q&A for students, educators, and counselors. Many global universities are now using chatbots to help potential students through their administration process. What would take many back-and-forth emailing between students and schools can now be done in a matter of minutes through a chatbot Q&A session.


Augmented and virtual realities are by far the most useful tools in the education sector. Due to the outstanding immersive experiences they can create, they are valuable additions to the educational digital transformation. These experiences project the ability to present information and the potential to extend access to educational opportunities in advanced ways.

Students can use AR/VR to interact with virtual objects and environments as well as with other students. In fact, companies like HoloAnatomy are helping medical students better understand human biology through AR experiences. Another example of AR/VR assistance in education is creating a virtual environment where students can learn about historical world events. 


Although highly associated with cryptocurrency, blockchain is a new technology not only used for transactions but also shows a huge potential for educational digital transformation. Blockchain provides secure connection and data storage. Students can use it to safely store and verify their credentials online. This opens up the opportunity for sharing data in the education sector.

The kinds of data that can be stored in the blockchain are grades, attendance, exams, results, and completed courses. Once uploaded, these data will be immune to any kind of tampering and harm. Blockchain also helps with automating processes. Teachers and educators can organize their workflows by using blockchain-powered smart contracts. Simply put, they can record lesions in a blockchain, create assignments for students, specify parameters, and let smart contracts verify task completion, allowing students to proceed to the next assignment.

Internet of Things

IoT devices greatly help maintain safety and security on campuses and schools. They can also be used to access and manage information across the school. Smart thermostats are also used in classrooms to regulate the temperature. Smart sensors are another form of IoT device that can track student attendance and performance. These sensors can also be helpful in increasing student engagement. 

IoT devices like smartwatches are also used for tracking student health and metrics like blood oxygen level and even depression. They do so by alerting educators, administrators, or parents if they pick up any abnormalities and change in condition.

Challenges and Considerations in Implementing Digital Transformation

While a lot has already been done, digital transformation in education has a long way to go. Yes, there are positive impacts and benefits, but there are also challenges and considerations in implementing educational digital transformation. It’s highly critical to be aware of these challenges in order to make the most of digital transformation. These challenges are:

  1. Not Having a digitization Strategy

One of the most important factors of any procedure is the strategy. With digitization, education centers like schools normally do not put enough effort is creating an education digitization strategy. It’s simply because they either do not have the time or the right resources and knowledge to incorporate technology. Not having a strategy results in not having a clear vision of what needs to be done, changed, or implemented.

  1. Not Having Up-to-Date Systems

Another issue is that while they are introduced to the technology, many schools and universities do not have the right technology to transform their learning systems. Some education centers still do not have computers or internet connection, while some are using outdated E-learning portals. 

  1. Experiencing System Breakdowns

There are many reasons why education centers go through system breakdowns. Glitches, lags, and breaches can happen due to hacker attacks or technical malfunctions. This issue often leads to data loss and, in more severe cases, data leaks which are simply unacceptable for institutions. The problem with system breakdowns is not enough knowledge of cybersecurity in education centers. 

Success Stories and Best Practices

Australia’s Monash University is among the education centers that successfully manage digital transformation. How the university managed digitization? In 2016, Monash accomplished digital transformation by gathering a team of BPOs (Business Process Owners) and assigning each the supervision of one module of digital transformation. These BPOs were also in charge of providing an internal system to advocate for digital transformation, and answer raised questions.

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Along the process, they studied the effects of their decisions on students in particular and the university as a whole. This allowed them to monitor the changes and create a seamless transformation for everyone involved.  

Monash also found faults in its research management system. The system was mostly paper-based and distributed across schools and departments. They also noticed that face-to-face training sessions were rarely attended. The university then chose a Research Information Management System and stored all the distributed research data into one single platform. This way, it was more efficient for stakeholders to create reports, perform assessments, manage researcher profiles, etc. Monash was also aiming to use this solution to improve decision-making and research. 

Revolutionalizing the Way We Learn

In today’s digital world, education centers understand the need to go beyond the education system they know and are used to in order to keep up with the new generations. Digital transformation in the education center is not just about the students. It’s about enhancing the learning experience for contributors as a collective.

Educational digital transformation can be done using different technologies and tools that target various aspects, from learning experience to security. Sure, digital transformation has its positive impacts, but there are areas where education centers face challenges while going through the transformation. Digid is among the first Canadian digital transformation and adoption advisors to have tackled digital transformation in education. Read more about how we have helped educators go digital in our case study on STEMMinds.

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