Searching for "digital learning"
ey ideas in game-based learning, pedagogy, implementation, and assessment. This guide makes sense of the available research and provides suggestions for practical use.
Digital Agility: Embracing a Holistic Approach to Digital Literacy in the Liberal Arts
A 2016 Pew Research Center study indicates that the digital divide in the United States is not solely about access to technology; it also is about the ability to use technology to get what we need.1 What does digital readiness mean; applying cumulative knowledge to real-world situations. Having a tech or STEM-related degree does not ensure digital readiness.
How Can We Encourage Digital Agility in the Liberal Arts?
Digital pedagogy often creates opportunities for instructors to create non-disposable assignments—assignments that are not designed to be thrown away but rather have a purpose past being required.3
“We need to marry the best of our academic work with the best of edtech. In other words, what would it look like if education technology were embedded in the everyday practice of academic disciplines?”4
Project-based learning fits well within the curricular flexibility of the liberal arts. In project-based work, students apply what they are learning in the context of an engaging experience.
Building off frameworks that are already in place, like the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy,
External-facing work offers students real situations where, if we imagine what digital agility looks like, they have to adjust to possible new digital environments and approaches.
Reflection provides a way for meaning-making to happen across individual assignments, projects, and classes. Without the chance to assemble assignments into a larger narrative, each experience lives in its own void.
How Can Institutions Build Systems-Level Support?
Liberal arts colleges in particular are interested in the ways they prepare graduates to be agile and critical in a digital world—as seen in the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) Rubrics.
he Bryn Mawr Digital Competencies Framework5 was followed by more formal conversations and the formation of a working group (including Carleton College,
more on digital fluency in this IMS blog
How Intrinsic Motivation Helps Students Manage Digital Distractions
According to the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of teenagers check their phones as soon as they get up (and so do 58 percent of their parents), and 45 percent of teenagers feel as though they are online on a nearly constant basis. Interestingly, and importantly, over half of U.S. teenagers feel as though they spend too much time on their cell phones.
Research on intrinsic motivation focuses on the importance of autonomy, competency and relatedness in classroom and school culture.
According to one Common Sense Media report, called Social Media, Social Life, 57 percent of students believe social media use often distracts them when they should be doing homework. In some ways, the first wave of digital citizenship education faltered by blocking distractions from school networks and telling students what to do, rather than effectively encouraging them to develop their own intrinsic motivation around making better choices online and in real life.
Research also suggests that setting high expectations and standards for students can act as a catalyst for improving student motivation, and that a sense of belonging and connectedness in school leads to improved academic self-efficacy and more positive learning experiences.
Educators and teachers who step back and come from a place of curiosity, compassion and empathy (rather than fear, anger and frustration) are better poised to deal with issues related to technology and wellness.
more on intrinsic motivation in this IMS blog
The Smartphone Generation Needs Computer Help
Young people may be expert social-media and smartphone users, but many lack the digital skills they need for today’s jobs. How can we set them up for success?
Kenneth Cole’s classroom at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, located on a quiet residential street in Madison, Wisconsin.
The classes Cole teaches use Grow with Google’s Applied Digital Skills online curriculum.
One day he may lead Club members in a lesson on building digital resumes that can be customized quickly and make job-seeking easier when applying online. Another day they may create a blog. On this particular day, they drew up a budget for an upcoming event using a spreadsheet. For kids who are often glued to their smartphones, these types of digital tasks, surprisingly, can be new experiences.
The vast majority of young Americans have access to a smartphone, and nearly half say they are online “almost constantly.”
But although smartphones can be powerful learning tools when applied productively, these reports of hyperconnectivity and technological proficiency mask a deeper paucity of digital skills. This often-overlooked phenomenon is limiting some young people’s ability—particularly those in rural and low-income communities—to succeed in school and the workplace, where digital skills are increasingly required to collaborate effectively and complete everyday tasks.
According to a survey by Pew Research Center, only 17 percent of Americans are “digitally ready”—that is, confident using digital tools for learning. Meanwhile, in a separate study, American millennials ranked last among a group of their international peers when it came to “problem-solving in technology-rich environments,” such as sending and saving digital information
teach his sophomore pupils the technology skills they need in the workplace, as well as soft skills like teamwork.
more on digitally native in this IMS blog
more on millennials in this IMS blog
Imagine if we didn’t know how to use books – notes on a digital practices framework
the 20/60/20 model of change. The idea is that the top 20% of any group will be game for anything, they are your early adopters, always willing to try the next best thing. The bottom 20% of a group will hate everything and spend most of their time either subtly slowly things down or in open rebellion. The middle 60% are the people who have the potential to be won or lost depending on how good your plan is
The top stream is about all the sunshine and light about working with others on the internet. It’s advantages and pitfalls, ways in which to promote prosocial discourse. The middle stream is about pragmatics. The how’s of doing things, it starts out with simple guidelines and moves forward the technical realities of licensing, content production and tech using. The bottom stream is about the self. How to keep yourself safe, how to have a healthy relationship with the internet from a personal perspective.
Level 1 – Awareness
Level 2 – Learning
Level 3 Interacting and making
Level 4 – Teaching
more on digital literacy in this IMS blog
Developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, the SAMR Model aims to guide teachers in integrating technology into their classrooms. It consists of four steps: Substitution (S), Augmentation (A), Modification (M), and Redefinition (R).
The problem with many personalized learning tools is that they live mostly in realm of Substitution or Augmentation tasks.
It’s in moments like these that we see the SAMR model, while laying an excellent foundation, isn’t enough. When considering which technologies to incorporate into my teaching, I like to consider four key questions, each of which build upon strong foundation that SAMR provides.
1. Does the technology help to minimize complexity?
2. Does the technology help to maximize the individual power and potential of all learners in the room?
use Popplet and iCardSort regularly in my classroom—flexible tools that allow my students to demonstrate their thinking through concept mapping and sorting words and ideas.
3. Will the technology help us to do something previously unimaginable?
4. Will the technology preserve or enhance human connection in the classroom?
Social media is a modern-day breakthrough in human connection and communication. While there are clear consequences to social media culture, there are clear upsides as well. Seesaw, a platform for student-driven digital portfolios, is an excellent example of a tool that enhances human connection.
more on SAMR and TRACK models in this IMS blog
more on personalized learning in this IMS blog
Online Learning’s ‘Greatest Hits’
Robert Ubell (Columnist) Feb 20, 2019
dean of web-based distance learning
Learning Management Systems
Neck and neck for the top spot in the LMS academic vendor race are Blackboard—the early entry and once-dominant player—and coming-up quickly from behind, the relatively new contender, Canvas, each serving about 6.5 million students . The LMS market today is valued at $9.2 billion.
Digital Authoring Systems
Faced with increasingly complex communication technologies—voice, video, multimedia, animation—university faculty, expert in their own disciplines, find themselves technically perplexed, largely unprepared to build digital courses.
instructional designers, long employed by industry, joined online academic teams, working closely with faculty to upload and integrate interactive and engaging content.
nstructional designers, as part of their skillset, turned to digital authoring systems, software introduced to stimulate engagement, encouraging virtual students to interface actively with digital materials, often by tapping at a keyboard or touching the screen as in a video game. Most authoring software also integrates assessment tools, testing learning outcomes.
With authoring software, instructional designers can steer online students through a mixtape of digital content—videos, graphs, weblinks, PDFs, drag-and-drop activities, PowerPoint slides, quizzes, survey tools and so on. Some of the systems also offer video editing, recording and screen downloading options
As with a pinwheel set in motion, insights from many disciplines—artificial intelligence, cognitive science, linguistics, educational psychology and data analytics—have come together to form a relatively new field known as learning science, propelling advances in a new personalized practice—adaptive learning.
Of the top providers, Coursera, the Wall Street-financed company that grew out of the Stanford breakthrough, is the champion with 37 million learners, followed by edX, an MIT-Harvard joint venture, with 18 million. Launched in 2013, XuetangX, the Chinese platform in third place, claims 18 million.
Former Yale President Rick Levin, who served as Coursera’s CEO for a few years, speaking by phone last week, was optimistic about the role MOOCs will play in the digital economy. “The biggest surprise,” Levin argued, “is how strongly MOOCs have been accepted in the corporate world to up-skill employees, especially as the workforce is being transformed by job displacement. It’s the right time for MOOCs to play a major role.”
In virtual education, pedagogy, not technology, drives the metamorphosis from absence to presence, illusion into reality. Skilled online instruction that introduces peer-to-peer learning, virtual teamwork and other pedagogical innovations stimulate active learning. Online learning is not just another edtech product, but an innovative teaching practice. It’s a mistake to think of digital education merely as a device you switch on and off like a garage door.
more on online learning in this IMS blog
Building a Learning Innovation Network
a new interdisciplinary field of learning innovation emerging.
Learning innovation, as conceptualized as an interdisciplinary field, attempts to claim a space at the intersection of design, technology, learning science and analytics — all in the unique context of higher education.
professional associations, such as POD, ELI, UPCEA, (https://upcea.edu/) OLC (https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/), ASU GSV (https://www.asugsvsummit.com/) and SXSW Edu (https://www.sxswedu.com/) — among many other conferences and events put on by professional associations.
A professional community of practice differs from that of an interdisciplinary academic network. Professional communities of practice are connected through shared professional goals. Where best practices and shared experiences form the basis of membership in professional associations, academic networks are situated within marketplaces for ideas. Academic networks run on the generation of new ideas and scholarly exchange. These two network models are different.
“Learning Experience Design™ is a synthesis of Instructional Design, educational pedagogy, neuroscience, social sciences, design thinking, and User Experience Design.”
The Process: ADDIE Vs. Design Thinking
more on LX design in this iMS blog
When Bringing Your Own Device Isn’t Enough: Identifying What Digital Literacy Initiatives Really Need
Device ownership alone doesn’t make people digitally literate; rather, digital literacy is about how and why they use devices to achieve particular goals and outcomes.
According to the 2018 EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 95% of undergraduate students own a smartphone and 91% own a laptop. This near-ubiquitous ownership of these devices might suggest that digital literacy is mainstream, but just because students own digital devices does not mean that they’ve developed digital literacy.
Definitions of digital literacy can include the ability to use and access digital devices, but studies from the past decade tend to deepen this definition. A commonly cited definition from Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel asserts that digital literacy is “shorthand for the myriad social practices and conceptions of engaging in meaning making mediated by texts that are produced, received, distributed, exchanged etc., via digital codification.”
More recently, scholars including Jennifer Sparrow have suggested even adopting the term digital fluency instead of literacy in order to capture how students may need the “ability to leverage technology to create new knowledge, new challenges, and new problems and to complement these with critical thinking, complex problem solving, and social intelligence to solve the new challenges.”
Digital Familiarity Implies Intrinsic Knowledge
two-thirds of faculty think that students are prepared to use software applications, but students themselves express discomfort with applying these tools for learning.
instructional designers are key players who could take a more visible role in higher education to support educators in bringing explicit instruction on digital literacy engagement into their classes. University staff in instructional design and educational/faculty development spaces consult with instructors, lead workshops, and develop support documentation on a regular basis. People in these roles could be more empowered to have conversations with the instructors they support around building in particular lessons
Douglas Belshaw can be a source of inspiration for understanding how his essential elements of digital literacy may contribute to the development of students’ digital fluencies. In particular, some practices may include:
- Integrating the use of different applications and platforms so that students obtain practice in navigating these spaces, learning how to locate relevant and reliable information. For example, guiding students to specific databases that provide articles, books, etc., for your discipline may improve information and digital literacy. This is critical because most students default to Google search and Wikipedia, which may not be where you want them to explore topics.
- Developing student’s ability to curate content and how to follow academic integrity guidelines for citations and references.
- Establishing the norms and purpose for effective communication in a digital academic space.