The Evolution of the Digital Learning Experience
by Amy Donelan

Growing up in today’s society, it is not unusual to come across children as young as five as experienced tablet users. Big brands such as Leapfrog or VTech have started to produce children's “toys” that contribute to the readiness of young children and efforts to encourage the adoption of digital. Looking around in lecture halls the pen and paper combo is almost desolate and from a different viewpoint, teachers have even opted for more interactive technologically enhanced lessons.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the adoption of technology in the learning sphere is mostly determined by its ability to produce enriched and personalised learning experiences. Gone are the days of sitting in a library with dust covered books or watching reruns of ancient VHS documentaries that have been around for years. The latest learning technology puts the power in the learner's hands (literally), caters for their needs and lets them drive. So how did we get to this stage? This blog will take a look into the brief but rapid past of digital learning.



First electronic book reader created by Angela Ruiz Robles called the Enciclopedia Mecánica, or the Mechanical Encyclopedia. 


Handheld calculator was released


The Gutenburg project created by Michael Hart features an electronic public library of 10,000 books.


The first Personal Computer introduced to the education market by IBM.


First ever laptop released by the Osborne Computer Corporation named Osborne 1.


HP introduces one of the first touch screen computers.


Interactive whiteboard developed by XeroX Parc was created.


Sony introduced the Data Discman - it could read e-books that were stored on CDS.


ICT began to have a considerable impact on teaching. The use of email became prevalent and the web fast became seen as a valuable resource for both teachers and students.

Early 2000

Virtual Learning Environments and Learning Management Systems began to emerge.  

Post 2005

Development of collaborative based tools e.g. Google Docs.


Epubs were developed to replace the Open Ebook format.


A study by JISC found that 73% of first year undergraduates in the UK were using social networking sites to discuss course work (JISC 2008).


Microsoft introduces the surface tablet


Apple introduced the iPad


Microsoft rebrand the original surface technology as pixelsense


Kortext a world leading personal learning platform and digital textbook provider was born!


Google launch cardboard virtual reality headset, the first virtual reality headset to be available for the wider market.


Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Playstation Virtual Reality headsets available to the wider market and schools

2018… TBC!