Digital Learning in Theory

Henry Jenkins who has done a lot of research on participatory culture and digital media established that digital education is not another subject for kids to learn. Rather, it is something that should be integrated into pedagogy. Schools need to operate more along the principles of collective intelligence and social networking.

Rather than learning taking place at different stages, your education is an INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM, that continues you’re entire life. You are creating networks from the beginning of your education. Students and teachers are reaching outside their community (parents, educators from other schools, experts, businesses, etc.) to create a participatory platform to share information, advice and feedback.

Jenkins suggests that students need to be given the opportunity to seek information from multiple channels and work with a range of different people to pool knowledge and combine skills.

For example, Kids are learning to blog in primary school. Gaining feedback and recognition from a larger community than just the classroom. And it also introduces them to the concept of taking greater responsibility for the quality of information they circulate.

While many education systems are taking digital education on board there are still some negative options. I think that this fear of technology can sometimes come from a lack of understanding.

For my digital artefact I’d like to create a resource for parents, teachers and students that still don’t really understand digital education.

It will basically be a collation of all the information I’ve found. A space where I could link my blog posts, and includes the many videos, articles, etc. that I have found. I would also like to add and possibly review/recommend education games.

Resources

Banerjee, P & Bleson, G 2015, ‘Digital education 2.0: From content to connections’, Deloitte Review, Vol. 16, pp. 2-17.

Jenkins, H. (2016). Learning in a Participatory Culture: A Conversation About New Media and Education (Part Four). [online] Henryjenkins.org. Available at: http://henryjenkins.org/2010/02/learning_in_a_participatory_cu_1.html [Accessed 1 May 2016].

 

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Understanding Digital Learning

Digital Learning is “learning facilitated by technology that gives students some element of control over time, place, path and pace.”

If children have access to digital devices and the Internet, their learning is no longer restricted to the classroom during school hours. These kids can learn almost anything at any time, anywhere.

Interactive and adaptive software allows students to learn in their own style. This makes learning personal and engaging. Teachers have the ability to adjust and alter their teaching styles to suit individuals needs, based on the real-time data these new technologies provide.

These technologies also allow students to work and learn at their own pace. Students have the ability to spend as much time or as little time as they personally need, while still achieving the same level of learning at the end.

Digital learning is made up of three parts: Technology, digital content and instruction

  • Technology is the mechanism that delivers content. It includes Internet and hardware. It it’s the tool, that facilitates how students receive content.
  • Digital content is the material, which is delivered through technology. It’s WHAT students learn through technology.
  • Instruction is the educator’s role in digital learning. Technology doesn’t eliminate the need for teachers. They are essential in guiding and assisting students learning, and keeping them on track. Teachers can use digital education as a tool to expand their methods of teaching.

Digital learning is considered to be the future of education and as you can see in the video below, is changing the way future generations will learn.

Resources

Gosa.georgia.gov. (2016). What is Digital Learning? The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. [online] Available at: https://gosa.georgia.gov/what-digital-learning#_ftn1 [Accessed 25 Apr. 2016].

 

 

Digital Culture In The Classroom

Education is considered one of the most important aspects of civilisation. It provides the foundation for preparing young people for the future. As technology grows and develops, its presence not only in the education system but also in society is inevitable. The use of technology in the classroom is not a separate notion but rather a tool to integrate into teaching methods to further develop the skills and knowledge of students.

So what is the digital culture in the classroom? Through technology a community is evolving where students and teachers from around the world are combining ideas to offer children the most best education possible. In my last post I mentioned the online game Mathletics, which allows students from a variety of countries to learn maths by completing activities based on curriculums and then competing against one another by testing the maths skills learnt. Games such as this one provide a platform for students to interact with one another whilst learning valuable skills. Teachers and parents have the ability to monitor student activity, providing current and up to date feedback on their performances and outcomes. Not only this, but students are learning skills in a fun and visual way compared to traditional learning.

Digital technology and creativity in the classroom prepares kids for the future by Carolyn Fox explores the transformation of the education system as a result of technology. She makes the point that society is moving towards a digital future, therefore teaching and learning methods must be adapted to prepare children for the ‘new world’ they will be living in.

The industrial, mass production model of learning is under fire and being questioned with the influx of digital technology today and globalization. Experts agree that we learn from our senses, primarily through our visual system, which accounts for about 80% of what we process. They agree that a digital world requires different skills and they usually agree that it includes visual skills.” – (Fox, 2013). 

Andrea Kuszewski is a behaviour therapist and consultant for children on the autism spectrum, with a background in neuroscience and psychology. Upon studying intelligence and the performance of autistic children in learning, she found that we actually have the ability to increase fluid intelligence, the intelligence we use to problem solve. So to increase your brain matter and fluid intelligence, you must seek novelty, challenge yourself, think creatively, do things the hard way and network. Believe it or not these are all key aspects of gaming.

Gabe Zichermann looks at this study in more detail in relation to gaming and shows that gaming is only making our kids smarter.

Resources

Fox, Carolyn 2013, ‘Digital technology and creativity in the classroom prepares kids for the future’, Opensource.com, 25 October, viewed 24 March 2016, https://opensource.com/education/13/10/prepare-future-digital-tech-creativity.

Kuszewski, Andrea 2011, You can increase your intelligence: 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential, Scientific American, weblog post, 7 March, viewed 24 March 2016, http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/you-can-increase-your-intelligence-5-ways-to-maximize-your-cognitive-potential/.

TedxYouth 2011, TEDxKids@Brussels – Gabe Zichermann – Gamification, YouTube video, 9 June, YouTube, viewed 24 March 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2N-5maKZ9Q.

 

Children’s Digital Culture

Children’s gaming is a fast-paced and growing industry that aims to do more than just entertain. Educational games are created to help children build necessary skills beyond the classroom environment. While there are many that argue that these games are harmful to education there are those that believe this technology is allowing children to develop and learn more than ever before.

For the research project I will be aiming to investigate educational games and the role of digital technology in children’s digital culture. This includes the growth and development of these games, as well as the effects on children and education.

This year I am also completing DIGC310, where I will be creating a pitch for the development of an educational game for children, which aims to teach children about health and nutrition. This pitch will be the case study for my research and I will be integrating the research I do for the pitch into this project.

I am beginning this research by looking at popular educational games used by kids today. Mathletics for example, is an online game that aims to develop the maths skills of children in both primary and secondary school. The game is played all over that world and allows children from different countries compete against each other in maths games. These games and activities are based on outcomes and requirements of relevant curriculums and players are given rewards, points and incentives to encourage participation.

‘You do the math’: Mathletics and the play of online learning is an article, which analyses research conducted by the University of Melbourne on Mathletics. “The findings are drawn from a study of children’s technology use and offers insights into the developing possibilities and challenges emerging through the adoption of Web 2.0 applications for learning and education” (Nansen, et al. 2012, p. 1231). The article concludes that while it can be argued that the design, governance and ownership of such software can shape children’s context and relations of learning, the study showed positive outcomes for children who played the game as its variability caters for teachers, parents and children and the game complements classroom learning.

While there are many articles like the one above on educational games and technology, I have also found various videos and articles that are relevant to the topic. Therefore, I would like to present this research in the form of a Prezi. It will allow me to include aspects of the DIGC310 game pitch as well as any other relevant visual and written content.

References

Nansen, B., Chakraborty, K., Gibbs, L., Vetere, F. and MacDougall, C., 2012. ‘You do the math’: Mathletics and the play of online learning, New Media & Society, vol. 14, no. 7, pp.1216-1235.