The impact of digital media on every aspect of our lives is growing on a daily basis.
In the building industry, its influence on construction is noteworthy, but that pales in comparison to the impact of digital media on interior design.
Technological advances are opening the doors to new design possibilities that would have seemed impossible to previous generations. One shining example is Hawthorn’s Luxottica OPSM hub, which features digital mirrors to offer the possibility of image playback and infrared countertops.
Digital media is also helping move the education system forward. While computers have become the norm in classroom settings, far newer technologies are now making their way into learning environment.
Schools are beginning to adopt concepts such as Interactive Whiteboards and introduce tablet computers, which would appear to render the standard desk-and-chair classroom obsolete.
While digital media has its obvious perks, it can also provide pitfalls. When constantly bombarded with new tech gadgets, students could wind up falling behind in learning actual curriculum-based lessons.
In a TED Talk titled ‘The Linguistic Genius of Babies’, speaker Patricia Kuhl spoke of the differences in learning among babies who were exposed to language from actual living people versus those exposed to it through television and other screen-based means.
Babies who learned in an in-person setting showed remarkably enhanced linguistic skills over those who observed language through a screen. While learning habits among babies and school-aged children are obviously not parallel. Kuhl’s talk implied than humans respond better to learning from actual people as opposed to via digital media.
Thus, while it may appear that advances in digital media could fundamentally alter the nature of classrooms, such a seismic shift is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future, if at all. Schools are referred to as learning environments for a reason – socialization, hands-on learning and interaction are critical.
Technology is a welcome aid to teachers as they impart knowledge on to the next generation. It is important, however, that it remains just that – an aid.