“Applied Learning” has become a buzzword in education, considered a tool to address issues such as student dropout rates, test scores and engagement. In this article, we discuss applied learning specifically in a technology curriculum setting and how it benefits K-12 students in the short and long term.
What is Applied Learning?
Applied learning is an educational approach in which students apply skills and theories in hands-on or real-world settings. Applied learning bridges the gap between education and application by providing real-world examples, scenarios, and experiences to students.
Using applied learning in K-12 education not only helps to strengthen understanding and retention, but also helps to empower students to transform learning into the application of their knowledge and skills..
Applied Learning in Technology Curriculum
Applied learning is especially beneficial in the field of K-12 technology curriculum, which encompasses digital literacy and computer science. In an increasingly digital world, it’s important that students master technology skills that will become ever-present in future careers and communication.
With a technology curriculum presented through an online learning platform (such as Learning.com’s EasyTech program), students naturally engage in applied learning as they experience the curriculum in a digital setting. In addition, these programs typically offer learning experiences and exercises that provide application opportunities such as in virtual robotics, completing projects in word processing or digital presentation software, introductory game design and programming.
Benefits of Applied Learning in Technology Curriculum
There are several benefits to using applied learning in technology curriculum for K-12 students. Among these are helping to improve information retention, increasing engagement in the curriculum, helping to improve the application of real-world skills and helping to improve digital equity.
- Improve Information Retention. Applied learning is an important tool in the long-term retention and application of new skills. This is because applied learning, by definition, engages students in hands-on activities that encompass students in a more whole-brained way. Studies show that students who engage in hands-on learning are more likely to succeed in a course than students who don’t.
- Increase Engagement. Applied learning in technology curriculum is especially important as a means to increase student engagement in the content. Applied learning offers a more hands-on, experiential opportunity for students to connect to the information they are learning. For students who have regular learning experiences with technology, applied learning helps them to connect with and enjoy what they learn, helping to reduce boredom and master skills in more active, hands-on ways.
- Improve Skill Application. Applied learning also offers real-world examples in which to apply new technology skills. This helps the student not only better connect with the skills and theories being learned, but also helps to present a connection to how they might apply these skills in different situations.
- Improves Digital Equity. Finally, applied learning helps to improve digital equity. Many students may have no or limited availability of technology. In an increasingly digital world, this can hinder their progress in educational or future career settings. By offering applied learning in technology curriculum, these students are able to better learn and master technical skills that will open opportunities in the future.
To learn more about how Learning.com uses applied learning in technology curriculum, explore our “Applied Learning” page by clicking the button below.