My definition of a digital learning environment utilises technology to provide digital access to digital resources and spaces for learning that are not limited to a physical realm. Digital learning environments can take on different forms but usually consist of a variety of tools and technologies and are increasingly mobile and social.
At my school the digital learning environment is made possible by the network infrastructure that provides network, internet and wi-fi access to desktop computers and iPads. A learning management system has recently been implemented so teachers and students are transitioning to this new space. Email is heavily relied on for sharing and communicating and the use of Google Drive has been encouraged. A recently upgraded library management system offers new digital possibilities for interaction with the school community for me as a teacher librarian. Within the library I utilise a combination of tools for curation, screencasting and sharing.
My personal digital learning environment is vast and always changing. It is an important component to my PLN as represented below.
As an educator I have to be aware of changes created by our digital lifestyle. I believe my personal learning network and my studies are integral in keeping me informed and aware of technological changes and the impact they may have. By actively participating and collaborating with others using social networking, I feel more confident in transferring my skills to new digital environments. Academic and 21st century skills need to be developed (Kemker, 2005) at school so that students can navigate their digital world.
Social networking has impacted on teaching and learning by providing informal learning opportunities for students. Teachers are no longer the gatekeepers of knowledge. Students can learn from their peers or other experts using social networks and YouTube (Richardson, 2008). The video below outlines research into informal learning.
Kemker, K. (2005). The digital learning environment: What the research tells us. Apple White Paper.
Richardson, W. (2008, December 3). World without walls: Learning well with others. Edutopia. Retrieved fromhttp://www.edutopia.org/collaboration-age-technology-will-richardson.