The Difference Between Traditional And Digital Education

Traditional And Digital Education Difference
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If you are considering forgoing traditional education for digital, then this article is for you. While there are many benefits to both modes of learning, it is important to understand the differences before making a decision.

This post will explore what these two types of learning are, the pros and cons of each, and how they can complement one another. We hope this will help determine the best option for your needs!

Traditional education mainly focuses on working with texts and other printed materials, while digital can include things like podcasts or YouTube videos. Digital courses often rely on visual aspects, such as presentations or images, as opposed to words, which may be seen as more difficult or less appealing by some learners.

Why Should You Consider Digital?

Traditional education has been around for thousands of years and is still the most popular choice for many. Unfortunately, this also means that there are very few resources available to help teachers who wish to be more digital.

If you are considering forgoing traditional education for digital, then keep reading. While there are many benefits to both modes of learning, it is important to understand the differences before making a decision.

The Benefits of Online Learner Engagement

Digital Learning is more interactive and engages learners in a more meaningful way.

Developing the ability to interact with others in a digital realm makes online learning a great alternative to traditional methods, such as classroom instruction videos or podcasts.

Learning To Teach Via Digital Methods

While studying for your teaching qualifications, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the different teaching methods for education delivery.

If you are doing an online qualification, like the online EdD degree program from Marymount University, you’ll have first-hand experience of learning online as well as learning in a traditional environment (from your own studies), and this will help to make your delivery of teaching methods more robust.

You’ll also be exposed to a wide variety of teaching methods, as well as many different people. You can use this experience to help you guide your students through their own learning journey.

This is a great way to get comfortable with the lessons and material that you intend to use in your future classroom. It’s also a great opportunity for you to talk with teachers and fellow students who are sharing the same experiences as you, making it easier to explore your own path.

What Tools Are Available For Digital Education?

There are many different tools available for digital education, such as podcasts, online blogs, audio-visual equipment (such as projectors), online communities, and more.

The internet has made it incredibly easy to help us deliver our own content. You’ll find a wide variety of free tools that are available to help you include digital learning in your teaching and delivery of any educational materials. Twitter, Google Hangouts, Facebook, and many others have all been integrated into an online classroom.

With video-sharing platforms such as YouTube, you’ll be able to record yourself and share with others. You can also connect with other teachers across the globe that are delivering the same lesson so that you can interact directly with them, or simply ask them questions about your teaching and their experiences.

Traditional vs. Digital Education – What are the Key Differences?

By now, you may be already considering how to use digital methods in your classroom, but what are the differences between traditional and digital, and is it even worth trying to balance the two in your classroom?

Here are some of the primary differences between traditional and digital education:

Methods of Delivery

Digital education can be placed into two primary groups: non-traditional learning, and blended learning.

Non-traditional means that the information being taught is already available (such as a podcast, video lecture, etc.) but may not be downloaded onto a device directly. In a blended model, both digital learning and traditional learning are taking place at the same time.

For example, students may learn their math facts using dedicated resources such as flashcards and a classroom workbook, OR they may receive their instruction in class using videos, podcasts, or other digital resources.

Flexibility in Delivery

In traditional education, teachers are often limited in terms of the resources they have available to use. For example, a classroom teacher may be required to have a chalkboard, a writing utensil, and a set of overhead transparencies. This can make it difficult to deliver new content as well as to adapt existing material.

This is also true for some digital learning methods, such as flashcards and even some presentations. While they may be very helpful tools in the classroom, they should not be used directly on their own without context (specifically if you want your students to retain any of these skills).

How Long it Takes to Complete Content

Traditional methods of learning typically take longer to complete. This is largely due to the learning styles that are used in traditional classrooms.

For example, an activity such as games or debates can be useful in developing your students’ critical thinking skills, but they require more time and preparation. Some teachers may include them as part of their lesson plans, but others might leave it up to the students themselves to plan and organize these kinds of activities themselves.

With digital education, there are no additional steps required for the delivery method itself.

It is important that you choose a course that has been designed with active-learning methods in mind.

How Well-Traveled Students Are

When you’re teaching traditional education, you want to create a safe and comfortable learning environment.

Incorporating new technology can sometimes be confusing for younger students, however, and it is recommended that you work with your students to find the right ways of working together when incorporating new technology in the classroom.

Digital learning can have an impact on where students are willing to travel for their education. Another consideration is how well-traveled your students may be for example, if they have traveled outside of the country before or if they have used tools like Google Hangouts to communicate with people from other regions.

Time Consumed

Traditional and digital education can both add up to a long-term commitment. This is not just for the teacher, however. Working with your family and other students who are interested in your teaching will make it harder for you to balance traditional and digital learning.

This can be especially problematic if you have children who are not able to attend school during the days that you are teaching their lesson plans or if you have older students who may need time off for other reasons (such as a baby, an illness, etc.).

Some adjunct professors in online education also find it challenging to balance their traditional and online teaching commitments!

Technology Resources

Traditional education and digital learning can both have a negative impact on your students’ ability to learn new technology.

For example, if you are teaching traditional education in a classroom, you will likely have to use resources that are already required for schools, such as pencils and paper.

This can make it difficult for your students to keep up with the latest developments in technology, especially if they do not have access to these devices themselves or if they want to bring devices into their own homes. Digital learning can be much more expensive than traditional methods of education.


Traditional methods of education can be more engaging for your students.

For example, in the classroom, you can use visual aids to help your students to remember the content that you are providing them with.

Digital learning tends to be more work on behalf of the student; for example, digital tests require that students have Internet access and may require additional software.

Digital tools may not be as well known in today’s classroom as traditional educational tools, but that doesn’t mean they are less useful.


The teacher is always responsible for the quality of education that their students receive.

Traditional and digital methods have some of the same accountability issues. For example, if you are teaching in a classroom, you don’t want to be the only person who knows how to use a computer or other digital tools in your classroom.

On the other hand, teachers who choose to use digital methods alone may risk making errors with their assignments (for example, if they enter an incorrect grade into their grade book).


The cost of teaching digital education is higher than traditional education.

This is true for teachers, but it can also be true for students. Some countries may not have the resources to offer free online classes or to give their students the same access to a computer that they get in school, but many schools and universities are also committed to offering as many free online classes as possible.

Student Engagement Levels

Traditional and digital methods have their own limitations when it comes to student engagement.

Traditional education can suffer from student boredom and apathy, especially if the teacher is not able to provide their students with interesting and effective lessons. Digital learning requires a lot of time and effort on behalf of the student, which means that they are able to become disengaged much more quickly than if they were spending this time in a classroom.

For example, some students may prefer traditional methods of learning because they may have experienced negative relationships with teachers in the past or because they just do not enjoy using digital tools.

Student Motivation Levels

The rate of student motivation can be directly linked to the amount of effort required on the part of students when it comes to completing their own assessments.

Digital learning requires a lot of effort on the part of students and teachers, which means that it can sometimes be difficult to get students motivated to continue their learning.

Many traditional educators choose to integrate digital tools into their lessons because they find that these tools help them to motivate their students.

Can Students Benefit from a Hybrid Approach to Traditional Education?

Younger students, especially those who are already dedicated to learning, can benefit from both traditional and digital methods of education.

However, these students may grow out of the need for traditional education as they become more independent and less reliant on the school system that they are attending in order to learn how to interact with others online.

As a result of this, younger students may also be reluctant to take a hybrid approach because they do not want to lose their traditional education altogether.

Older students may be more open to a hybrid approach; however, the longer that they have spent in the classroom, the more comfortable they will likely be at integrating digital learning into their studies.

When it comes to using a hybrid model, teachers should be sure to use the methods that are most appropriate for their students.

This is not always possible, however; some students may have special needs (such as a learning disability), and traditional education may offer better methods for overcoming these issues.

Using a hybrid approach can be an effective way for teachers and students to reach their maximum potential as learners and independent individuals.

However, teachers and students should be sure to investigate their options and find out which methods are best for them.


Choosing the perfect balance between traditional and digital education for your classroom can be one of the most difficult decisions that a teacher or school leader faces.

This article outlined many of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of education, while also examining the benefits and challenges in integrating both types of education into a hybrid model.

Teachers and administrators may have to consider their students’ wishes, as well as their own, when choosing which method will be best for them.

Before teachers can make their decision, however, they should know what data is available about these methods and how to use it to make informed decisions about which method suits all students best.