5 Ways Digital Learning Platforms Can Enhance CTE Education
February 13th, 2020
Vocational training has a long history in America. The first federal law regarding vocational training was passed in 1917, but the field has come a long way since then. Currently, $1.2 billion in state grants is appropriated annually under the Perkins statute. The Carl D Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, reauthorized by President Donald Trump in 2018, aims to enhance the quality of technical education in the US, to help boost the economy. Under this statute, Congress grants $1.2 billion each year as funds for students who choose CTE programs, with the aim of developing “technical and employability skills” in secondary and post-secondary education.
The need for such training has been felt more acutely in recent times, with students often finding themselves lacking the skills needed to be successful in the corporate environment. This is where Career and Technical Education (CTE) comes in. With CTE, students gain exposure to job-specific skills, especially those that are in high demand. It not only includes career-specific classes, but also apprenticeships and in-school programs to create work readiness.
It was found that 93% of the students who concentrated on CTE classes graduated, compared to a national average of 80%, according to the Association for Career & Technical Education. This is because CTE reduces the skill gaps, while increasing student engagement and academic outcomes as well.
Why Virtual Learning for CTE?
The manner in which CTE education is provided is important. One of the most efficient ways to do so is with virtual learning, delivered via a robust online learning platform. Virtual learning environments are not meant to replace existing classrooms but enhance them. Some of the benefits of virtual learning environment for CTE are:
1. Individualized Support
Digital learning platforms support student-centered learning, which empowers students to succeed through individualized instruction that puts them at the center of their learning. The learning experience is separate for each student, based on their specific needs; learning styles and preferences. In virtual learning, students can learn at their own pace. In case, they do not understand a concept at the first go, they have the flexibility to go over the lesson again or view other resources, such as videos or infographics, which can make difficult concepts easier to understand.
With virtual learning, feedback for each student can also be personalized. Such continuous feedback has been found to lead to faster and more efficient learning.
2. Learn by Doing
With virtual learning, students are better able to learn how to apply their knowledge to real world scenarios. One of the CTE fields where virtual learning has been found exceptionally useful is healthcare. Virtual technology can help students better understand human physiology, with the help of virtual avatars. There are also interactive elements and games that can be used to help students gain familiarity with the human body in a fun way. Audio elements can be added to increase realism.
Other areas where such CTE proves useful are finance, business management and information technology.
3. Improved Engagement
One of the most important factors in improving academic outcomes is student engagement. Higher engagement levels can be achieved with the help of interactive elements in virtual learning. Page after page of text can be extremely boring. This is particularly true for the current generation of students, who expect the use of technology in everything. Virtual learning can include audio, video, puzzles, quizzes, infographics and more, which enrich the learning experience. In fact, with the inclusion of virtual learning in the classroom, 70% of the teachers saw improved engagement levels, according to a study by the Center for Digital Education.
4. Anytime, Anywhere Learning
A huge advantage of digital learning platforms is that education is not confined to four brick walls and strict timings. Students can learn anywhere they want, whether at school, at home, or while travelling. Students can also learn at the time of their choice. In fact, with features such as offline readers, students don’t even need to wait for internet connectivity.
5. Lower Costs
The cost of print textbooks, equipment and more can be really high, especially for CTE courses. Not only do students require the usual textbooks, they also need lab manuals, learning aids and workbooks. But with the help of virtual learning, this cost can be considerably reduced. This means that CTE education can become more inclusive and offer better career prospects for children from all socio-economic groups.
How CTE Teachers Can Use Online Learning Platforms
Online learning platforms, such as MagicBox™ are powerful tools to enhance the classroom experience. Such learning experience platforms allow teachers to cater to the specific needs of Gen-Z and millennial students. The tech-native generation seeks information online. So, it fits in with their existing habits. No wonder, 81% of K-12 teachers believe the classroom teaching is enriched with the use of tablets.
With the help of such platforms, courses can be made flexible to suit the varying needs of different students, instead of limiting education to the one-size-fits-all approach. The use of interactive and gaming elements is also vital. This makes it possible to offer students a more hands-on experience, which is vital for CTE.
Have you tried a digital learning platform to deploy CTE courses? It can be a powerful educational tool. Contact us to learn how.