2020 was a stepping stone to revolutionize many of the ways we used to interact at all levels of life; from platforms like Netflix that had to adapt to offer shared streaming with Netflix Party, concerts via streaming (WTF?), to the evolution of digital educational platforms that advanced at a constant but rather slow pace, and that exploded during the past year, impacting practically all the productive sectors that we know of. Well, not all, but many.

The 2020 health crisis forced companies to adapt digital models, which were previously only considered for the basics such as video conferencing or staff training. And this is a complex issue that almost always goes unnoticed; educators and software developers have made a very important duo, to whom we essentially owe the luck of having kept our job during this year of chaos.

What are digital learning platforms?

It sounds obvious, but the reality is that when you imagine a DIGITAL LEARNING PLATFORM, the first thing that comes to mind is a classroom with a TV, well, that’s what I thought before knowing how complex these developments are, they are much more than that:

A digital learning platform is a software development that has the purpose to efficiently manage the way of teaching or learning. It may be easy to confuse, but digital learning platforms and e-learning are two different things, however they are strongly linked. But we will leave E-Learning for another time, today it is about LMS.

To define it briefly, a digital learning platform must be composed of the following characteristics:

  • Content distribution: They are the storage platforms for all the teaching resources necessary to carry out a course, they can store videos, digital libraries, image repositories, texts, and all kinds of multimedia material.
  • Communication and collaboration: These are tools that allow all interaction from a classroom to be transferred to the virtual environment. Either for collaborative work or to exchange opinions, organize discussion forums, etc. Does Microsoft Teams ring a bell? Let’s say that so far, both Teams and Google Drive comply with these two characteristics.
  • Monitoring and evaluation: They allow teachers to manage the monitoring and evaluation of students. Assign exams, homework, quizzes and necessary statistical data.
  • Administration and management: They are a control panel where it is possible to assign users, profiles, create registration processes, start or close courses, activities, etc. This tool is equivalent to the functions of a principle.

Dingtalk is one of the most popular digital learning solutions.

You can’t even imagine which of the current platforms fully meets these four items. If you are a anti-chinese it will be difficult for you to admit it. Neither more nor less than DingTalk, an open source Chinese digital learning platform that during 2020 even obtained recognition from UNESCO as one of the most recommended remote learning platforms. Eventually, DingTalk has become a widely used and applied tool around the world, not only for educational purposes but also for business purposes, as it provides very useful resource and task administration and management features for companies.

The topic is quite complex, interesting and above all diverse; there are lots of different models of digital learning platforms. So, should we take a deeper look at this?