What is a digital backpack?


Our definition of a student’s “digital backpack” is a set of educational content, mainly textbooks, in digital format selected by a collaborative group of teachers to be used during an academic year.

A very common mistake is to limit the concept of “digital backpack” to a simple change of format, going from physical and traditional paper format to another adapted through a computer device. The “digital backpack” not only evolves the way to access content, but also involves a direct link between student’s learning and the range of possibilities offered by technology. This way, every student will have tools available to them to be used in conjunction with their teacher, which then allows them to make the most out of the pedagogical work in the classroom.

Usually the content of a “digital backpack” is stored and organised within a Virtual Learning Environment. A web platform that allows the performance, development and monitoring of the teaching-learning activities of each student. Students access the “digital backpack” through a technical device via the recommended application the device offers.

Betting on the “digital backpack” is betting on an educational-technological ecosystem by using the latest technologies in the classroom and e-learning content. Working with a constructive perspective ensures that common tools that are already in operation are enhanced and improved, never disconnecting nor substituting. The “digital backpack” is created according to the demands and needs of the educational community and, in turn, balances their objectives. A dialogue that is not obsessed with innovating, that adapts to reality within the classroom.

Betting on the “digital backpack” is betting on an educational-technological ecosystem by using the latest technologies in the classroom and e-learning content.

“The digital backpack” allows the development of a more student-oriented education, evolving the teaching role towards a heterogeneous advisor of the specific needs of each of its students, instead of being a sequential and uniform manager of homogeneous access to the educational content.

Benefits of the digital backpack

The tried and tested experience of using the “digital backpack” in classrooms within some Spanish Regions has a number of direct benefits:

  • Increased motivation of students. In the current educational market, digital textbooks have a high level of interactive content. Working on interactive materials is a much more attractive experience for the student, greatly increasing their interest in doing different tasks.
  • Focuses on the teaching. Thanks to the “digital backpack” the teacher saves time on repetitive tasks such as correction (this being automatic in digital textbooks), thus investing more time and focus on the true educational needs of their students.
  • Operational versatility. Students will be able to learn by doing, creating or working on projects, but in turn they will also receive individual and direct support from the teacher. The teacher will be able to easily identify the areas where the student needs reinforcement and utilises relevant tools to alleviate it.
  • Interconnectivity. Usually when working with a “digital backpack”, the work is not limited to involving teachers and students, but also involving parents, educational administration, content providers, etc. This allows alignment and compensate the objectives of the school education system, the family educational system and the socio-cultural educational system.
  • Adaptation to all types of teaching. Although the work with “digital backpacks” is usually focused on the last levels of Primary and Secondary, it is perfectly adaptable to all types of students, level and education.
  • Constant improvement. The “digital backpack” has powerful data and reporting tools, which provide fast and valuable information that allows continuous improvement avoiding “versions” and “updates.”
  • Coherence. Technology is not yet present in all classrooms as in other facets of society. In the educational landscape, it is still often seen as an external element, when it should be integrated with other classroom tools. Thanks to the digital backpack, the technologies inside the classroom has been enhanced due to experiences and encounters outside the classroom.


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Ángel Luis González

Ecosystem Owner at ODILO - Talking about Ángel L. González is talking about technology and education, as well as the path that connects them: e-learning. He is currently Coordinator of the Change Management Team at eScholarium, an e-learning initiative that seeks to digitally evolve primary and secondary schools in the Spanish region of Extremadura. The project has been built from the dialogue between educational centres, families, educational companies (publishers and points of sale) and the administration itself, balancing the individual objectives towards a common collaborative scenario and focusing its application on simplicity, utility and necessity, tracing pedagogical brushstrokes for the education of the future, based on the challenges that students are facing today.