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The Digital Age

September 05, 2019

                                          The Digital Age

By: Aminath Riza (PGDE)

Introduction: We live in the information age (aka the digital age), which is a period in human history characterized by a shift from industrial production to information and computerization, changing significantly how people interact with businesses and each other.

Today, information is readily available and free. The democratization of access to information has resulted in a shift in the distribution of power between government and citizen, retailer and consumer, manager and employee, teacher and student. Today, there is too much information for any one person to handle and that information becomes obsolete very quickly. Continuous, just-in-time access to the latest information has become paramount for all actors in society.

The digital age is the age of the empowered customer, who can now make intelligent choices about the right product for the right situation with all of the relevant data, just in time. In this new age the consumer, rather than the brand, controls the interaction. In order to survive and remain relevant, companies now need to quickly adapt to a constantly changing market. In this new era, being really good at learning how to do new things results in a competitive advantage.
Beyond corporations, individuals must also adapt their skills to remain relevant in the job market. The digital era requires individuals to be lifelong learners. It also stresses the importance of creative problem solving and the ability to make connections across domains in order to drive innovation. In the digital age, individuals must not only be able to find and navigate information but they also must be able to critically interpret that information. They must also be able to express their ideas effectively through digital media. In the digital age individuals must be digitally fluent.
Additionally, when thinking about digital age learners, we must understand that they are more overwhelmed, distracted and impatient than ever before. Today, digital age learners want to be empowered and collaborative.

Six characteristics that define learning in the digital age:

  1. Engaging through an exceptional and relevant learning experienceAn attractive employee learning experience will generate intrinsic gratification, motivation and the active engagement necessary for more effective learning.
   2. Empowering, personalised and self-directedThe developments in digital technology have enabled learners to choose what, how and when they learn. They seek learning that is personalised, that fits their individual preferences and needs
   3.  Ubiquitous, just-in-time, on-demand and in contextDigital leaners want to learn at the time of need when they encounter a specific skill or knowledge gap that prevents them from completing a task or from achieving a desired tangible result

4 The right blend of experiential, social, informal and formalLearning happens continuously, in a multiplicity of contexts and modes, supported by technologies that enable any learner to easily access internal and external information and interact with networks of experts and peers.
·   5 Hyper-connected with analytics everywhere Digital age learners must be able to connect with learning resources, information, peers and experts to effectively learn in the digital age.
·    6.  Continuous, based on inquiry, exploring and doingIt is critical for individuals to own their development and continuously learn
Conclusion: The digital age refers to the Time frame in history that the use of digital technology became prevalent and of common use throughout the world. The digital age began in earnest with the widespread use of the Internet.

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