What is Interactive Learning?

Interactive learning is any type of schoolwork or academic plan that uses computer technology to emphasize or teach specific material.

Online classes and virtual classrooms are examples of extreme interactive learnings, but almost whenever a computer enters the academic space, as an educational game, for example, or as a structured research tool, the resulting lessons can be said to be interactive.

Traditional classrooms are increasingly being replaced by online classes and virtual classrooms.

In some circles, any hands-on learning is considered interactive. While this app is valid, it is generally considered out of date. When modern academics talk about interactivity in the classroom, they almost always talk about technology and are generally referring to the Internet.

Interactive and virtual learning methods allow students to learn basic skills, such as grammar and writing, outside of a traditional classroom.


Technology Integration

Since computers have become a major part of most industrialized societies, educators at all levels have been looking for ways to integrate technology into the classroom.

Interactive learnings relies on computer use, but is generally much more than just computer education: learning to type, operating basic software, and locating online resources are important skills, but they are not often part of interactive learning.

Most of the time, interactivity is about integrating computers into regular lessons.

Interactive learnings is especially effective for elementary school students who can learn through educational games.

One of the most basic examples is computer games. Students who play games, either downloaded or online, that emphasize certain concepts – mathematical formulas, for example, or historical dates and grammar rules – are supplementing their classroom learning with something more abstract.

Many educators believe that students can learn better and more thoroughly by varying the ways in which information is delivered.

Teachers generally try to find a balance between passive learning and interactive activities.

Reaching Students Where They Are

One of the biggest arguments in favor of interactive learning is that most of today’s students are already so Internet savvy that introducing computer learning is often extremely effective in capturing and holding their attention.

Younger than ever have smartphones and maintain an active presence on social media, with most spending most of their free time “connected” in one way or another. Using familiar technology in classrooms can help students become more involved, many educators say.

Online classes and virtual classrooms are examples of extreme interactive learning.

Offline and Pre-tech Interactivity

The concept of interactive learning is not new to the so-called “technology generation” and, in fact, it has only recently been associated with computers. Decades ago, any learning that involved more than just reading and spitting up was considered interactive.

Group work is an excellent example, as it involves the use of learning aids: counting beads or pattern blocks in younger grades, or science lab experiments for older students.

Most of the time, these types of experiences are simply classified as “hands-on learning” today.

Differences between Interactive and Passive Learning

Interactive learning is generally considered the opposite of passive learning, which relies on observation. Students typically need a combination of passive and active learning to master the concepts.

If everything is interactive, students run the risk of becoming overstimulated or losing track of the main goals. However, if the teaching is completely passive, students may find their interest and focus diminish.

Teachers generally strive to balance passive learning techniques such as reading and independent reading with more active assignments that integrate technology and force students to apply lessons in new and often unexpected settings.

The two systems tend to work best when played against each other. Interactive learnings can occur in group settings.

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