Innovation is the act of introducing something different or new that results in a change in the way something was done or perhaps something completely new. In short, it is a new way of doing something that can improve our lives, how we approach tasks, or even how we view the world. Innovation can take many forms and can enhance or disrupt our existing way of working. The impact of innovation on our lives is often related to how comfortable we are with dealing with change, the more we are able to embrace change in our lives, the more we are likely to view innovation as beneficial.
How we deal with change is essentially a state of mind. It is a skill we can learn that allows us to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves. The central idea of adapting to change, and hence the ability to embrace innovation, is the idea that there is no best way to do anything, where we are constantly looking to improve the way we work. The more we change and adapt our way of working, the more likely it is that we will discover new ways of doing things.
Widening Student Horizons
The sooner we begin to change the way we work, the sooner we are able to begin to embrace change because it starts to become our new normal. Online learning widens a student’s horizons by changing the way they research information and how they learn. In a traditional classroom setting, students typically learn through face-to-face teacher instruction with support from other sources such as textbooks. Online learning changes all that, as the focus is shifted away from face-to-face learning toward student-centered learning. With student-centered learning, each student becomes responsible for the pace at which they move through the course material and researching any supporting material they may need. Here, teachers take on more of a supporting role where, rather than lecturing course material, they help and encourage students to ensure the online course material is properly understood.
In adopting a guided research approach to assist in their learning, students can be exposed to many different sources of information that can build on and support traditional textbooks to give a more rounded and thorough understanding of the course work. Online learning offers students multiple ways of learning from many different sources that may not have been previously accessible, opening up new and innovative ways and opportunities for students to learn.
Online Learning Environment
The flexibility of online learning platforms offers students the option of being able to experience online learning in a way that best suits their learning style, whether it’s synchronous face-to-face video-based teacher-led instruction or a student-paced asynchronous approach. Both approaches to online learning have their merits and allow students to use the one that best suits their preferred way of studying. Whichever approach students take, online learning allows the best of traditional classroom-based learning, and the online environment, to be brought together to create an innovative, student-centered study setting.
Today, we live in a world of constant technological progress. It seems with each day that passes technology changes and develops at an ever-faster rate, making it hard for some classroom-based learning approaches to keep pace and remain relevant. Online learning platforms, by their very nature, have to remain relevant in their technological environment, which means students working in this environment will improve their digital literacy. In working in an online learning environment, students can become accustomed to keeping abreast of technological innovations and how they can be used to best meet their online learning goals.
A World of Possibilities
In being able to quickly adapt to changing technology teaches students to be innovative in their approach to solving problems, as well as being adaptable to how they locate information. It opens up a world of possibilities for students that can form a solid foundation that will help develop new perspectives and a better understanding of the course material and technology as a whole. When used creatively, online learning is better than traditional face-to-face classroom learning because it gives students the opportunity to learn from the experts to give unique viewpoints that they may not have otherwise seen.
The benefits students get from online learning go far beyond their achieving a course credit. Online learning exposes the students to globally available ideas and information to help broaden their perspective, while at the same time improving their digital literacy. Online learning creates a unique environment for students to develop an innovative approach to problem-solving that transcends the courses they are studying. It immerses them in a world of possibilities that are only limited by their imagination, where they are constantly exposed to new and challenging ideas that impact all aspects of their lives.