Here I sit, surrounded by technology that I now take for granted whilst pondering issues of Digital Citizenship with a focus on the school environment.
Digital Learning Environments – what are they?
My developing definition of a “Digital Learning Environment” (DLE) is any place in which learning is facilitated by current and emerging digital tools. It is an environment into which information flows easily and we have “anywhere, anytime” access to information (As described by the Digital learning statement produced by the Victorian DEECD).
However, as participants in #ETL523 we are discussing and reflecting on the idea that a DLE is not just a place cluttered with digital tools, think mobile phones, iPad and laptops. It is more than just a ‘place’. When thinking about or defining DLEs this course of study is encouraging its participants to think on the supporting skills, standards, attitudes and habits that are required when accessing digital content.
Digital Learning Environments (DLE) are participatory and collaborative by nature as they allow learners to drive their own learning via the manipulation of technologies.
What are some of the changes created by our digital lifestyle that I need to be aware of as an educator?
Good question … let me dot point:
- People across a multitude of cultures are more connected to their social networks.
- Huge flows of information into our lives: “anywhere, anytime”
- Growing communication across digital networks, on a global scale
- We are more likely able to be able to manipulate tools of social media.
- Employers demand anywhere/any time access to workers 🙁
- A call for a participatory experience wherever we go, classrooms, TV, Museums etc.
What has been the impact of social networking on teaching and learning?
- Strong development of Professional Learning Networks (PLNs).
- Teacher driven PD in the teaching sector, supported by social strong networking. This is perhaps accompanied by a decline in subject orientated professional association. Think about the increase of the ‘un-conference’ format.
- A growing need to develop in our students an awareness of Digital Citizenship.
- A need to adjust our approach to teaching and learning which includes a strong need to adjust curriculum … not just pedagogy. In fact, I think a lot of teachers are ready to adjust their teaching to take account for the digital shift, however, they feel encumbered by formal curriculum.
- Students have the ability to plug into their own social networks to facilitate their own learning … even though they might not be aware of this …. more on this at a later date.