The Benefits of a Digital Curriculum

6 min to read
Child working on a lap top computer

It’s been said that the future is digital. 

In fact, the present is digital. Currently, 93 percent of Americans regularly use the Internet. And even those who don’t still live in a world where computers are part of everything—from cars to grocery stores. Unsurprisingly, our education system is increasingly digital too. 
 
Even before COVID-19 increased the need for digital solutions in education, 95 percent of teachers reported using technology in the classroom. But some schools, like Connections Academy®, go even further by embracing an entirely digital curriculum. 
 
As with the rest of digital technology, digital curriculum for schools is likely to become increasingly common. Here’s what you need to know as a parent: 

What Is a Digital Curriculum?

A digital curriculum is about more than using technology in the classroom. It’s about integrating digital curriculum resources into every aspect of the learning process. When a digital curriculum is designed well, there isn’t even a need for a physical classroom; the entire education experience can happen in a digital space. 
 
The key is for the curriculum to be designed by education experts who understand how to apply digital technology. For example, studies have found that “when computing devices were used as tools to supplement the traditional curriculum, no increase in achievement was observed; when computing devices were used as the main teaching tools in class, however, student achievement increased.” 
 
In other words, it’s not enough for a school to use a few digital tools. A digital curriculum must be applied thoroughly to maximize its effectiveness. This principle drives high-quality, digital curricula as well as high-quality online schools, which can embrace a digital curriculum in ways traditional schools cannot. 

An online student taking digital lessons for online school.

What Are Common Digital Curriculum Resources?

In the same way that a high-quality, digital curriculum applies digital tools thoroughly, schools also utilize a full range of other digital resources. These include: 

  • Classroom portals that provide students with user-friendly access to lessons, schedules, learning resources, and more.  

  • Digital lessons that are designed to guide students through the learning experience in ways that are interactive and highly effective. 

  • Digital textbooks and e-books that give students access to course materials via the web and/or apps on digital devices like smartphones and e-readers. 

  • Virtual LiveLesson® sessions that connect students to teachers and other students in real time so they can learn and collaborate virtually. 

  • Virtual student clubs that give students the opportunity to explore their interests and learn from fellow students.  

In addition to these resources, schools with a high-quality, digital curriculum employ teachers, counselors, and staff who are specifically trained in digitally driven education and know how to ensure students and their parents thrive in such an environment. 

What Are the Benefits of a Digital Curriculum?

When a school uses all the available digital tools to their fullest potential, students receive a lot of benefits from a digital curriculum. Here are the most important: 

Personalized Learning

Instead of requiring a one-size-fits-all method of teaching, a digital curriculum allows educators to customize the curriculum in ways that fit each student’s unique learning preference. By aligning lessons to students’ specific needs and talents, teachers and staff can help them learn in the way that works best for them. 
 
A digital curriculum also allows students to arrange their daily learning in a way that lets them improve their learning outcomes. For example, students who are morning people can front-load their lessons so they get most of their schoolwork done when they feel the most focused. Similarly, students who may struggle with math can devote more time to it rather than being tied to a specific class length that could move on before they fully grasp the subject matter. Whatever is most effective for a student’s learning, a digital curriculum can typically accommodate it. 

Engaging Lessons

Digital lessons are much more than a reading assignment or a lecture. They utilize hypertext, video, audio, interactive elements, and more. And not all lessons are the same. Some include live instruction; some include group collaboration; some include individual learning. This diversity creates lessons that are highly engaging, and engagement is vital to student learning. 
 
Research has shown that lessons that encourage students to explore and create improve learning outcomes over lessons that expect students to memorize and recite. Exploration and creation are fundamental to how digital lessons work, which helps make a digital curriculum highly effective. 

Online students using digital curriculum resources.

Anywhere, Anytime Learning

Because a digital curriculum can be delivered over the Internet, students in online schools don’t have to be in a specific location to learn. And, other than for LiveLesson® sessions, they don’t have to learn at a specific time of day either. Instead, they have plenty of flexibility to learn where they want and when they need. 
 
This is a big benefit for many students and parents. If a child travels frequently for an extracurricular activity, needs at-home care, has family obligations, or simply learns better away from distractions, the flexibility of a digital curriculum can make all the difference in their education. Plus, it allows families to spend more time together and schedule their lives in the way they prefer. 

Accessibility

For students with special needs, a digital curriculum can help ensure they keep up in school and thrive. Unlike lessons built for in-person classes that are filled with students, digital lessons are custom-built with accessibility in mind. Whether a student has vision, hearing, mobility, learning, or other challenges, a digital curriculum can be structured to meet their needs. 

Development of Core Life Skills

Studies have shown that there is more demand among employers for workers with digital literacy than there are potential employees with digital skills. This makes digital literacy one of the key skills that a digital curriculum helps build. But it’s not the only life skill students develop. 
 
The flexibility and engaging lessons of a digital curriculum allow students to build skills like responsibility, perseverance, creativity, and adaptability. Plus, interacting with a digital curriculum helps students gain strong written communication skills—another key to a successful future. 

An online student learning through a digital curriculum.

Where Can Your Child Find a Digital Curriculum?

High-quality, online schools like Connections Academy make the fullest and most effective use of a digital curriculum. With more than 20 years of experience in online education, Connections Academy knows how to deploy a digital curriculum in a way that works for all kinds of students. 
 
Designed by experts and led by certified teachers trained in online education, our digital curriculum can provide your child with the learning experience they need to succeed in school and in the world ahead. Before your child even begins their first class, we’ll meet with them and a responsible adult as their Learning Coach to develop an individualized learning plan tailored to their strengths and challenges. 
 
The power of a high-quality, digital curriculum is in its ability to give each and every student a customized K–12 education journey. Whether your child is looking to get a head start on college, needs extra support, wants to take on a challenging learning path, or has any other unique needs, Connections Academy can help. And, as a public school, their education is entirely tuition-free. 
 
Check out our article on sample schedules to see how varied the Connections Academy experience can be. 

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