Advantages of DLE in Education

by Catherine Mills


Following on from the previous pages of the introduction to and impacts of Digital Learning Environments (DLEs) on student learning – this page expands on some of the many advantages DLEs in education.

DLEs FACILITATE DIGITAL EDUCTION GOALS

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) outlines digital standards for educators and students. The Australian national curriculum digital goals are Information and Communication Technology (ICT) general capabilities to be used across the curriculum learning areas. And the Partnership for 21st Century Learning Framework includes digital skills within education holistically. These models are all useful for teachers to refer to –across models is the recognition of the importance of developing skills in the 4Cs of critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. Click on the graphics below if you would like to find out more about each model.

ISTE Standards.pngScreen Shot 2017-04-13 at 7.52.20 am.png
P21 Framework.png



An important feature of the DLE in education is the ability for educators to empower learners to successfully navigate, find and use information online to gain knowledge and to create. This is a valuable lifelong learning tool. It can support learning to bridge gaps between learners who:
  • have access to technology at home and those who don’t or between those in rural settings and those in urban areas with more information infrastructure (Barr, 2014)
  • identify with certain groups, such as ATSI learners and learners with backgrounds in other languages and dialects, through support found by networking and through differentiation of available information online

DLEs PROVIDE EDUCATIORS WITH ACCESS TO A HUGE BANK OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT through:
  • access to updated curriculums and new pedagogical research
  • participation in a range of education networks to gain and share knowledge and resources (official department or professional education networks, and interest group networks)
  • up-skilling through online educational resources that are formal (e.g. certificates and higher education) and informal (e.g. YouTube video guides)

THE DLE IS MET WITH HIGH LEVELS OF ENGAGEMENT BY STUDENTS AND TEACHERS!

What feeds into high levels of engagement is the nature of DLE in being able to cater for current pedagogical objectives. Here are some examples:

Real world application or authentic learning, as demonstrated by the graphics shown above where there is recognition that the digital world is important for students in their personal and professional lives (Lombardi, 2007)

Transliteracy - is about students becoming proficient in understanding, using and creating a range of information formats including text, graphics, photos, images, maps, video, animation, and audio both offline and online (Wheeler, 2015)

Metaliteracy – goes further than transliteracy through the added dimension of participatory digital learning environments (O'Connell, 2012)

Differentiation – is a major asset of digital learning through the delivery of a tool where choice and interest are so readily catered for. (Lindsay & Davis, 2014)

Connected learning - is evident when “a young person is able to pursue a personal interest or passion with the support of friends and caring adults, and is in turn able to link this learning and interest to academic achievement, career success or civic engagement” (Ito, 2013)

HOW CAN YOU APPLY THIS TO YOUR CLASSROOM?

Watch the following to find out.




References:

Barr, P. (2014, October 6). The digital divide is narrowing, but more needs to be done [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/the-digital-divide-is-narrowing-but-more-needs-to-be-done-25994

Ito, M. (2013). Connected learning: An agenda for research and design. DML Hub. Retrieved from http://dmlhub.net/publications/connected-learning-agenda-research-and-design.

Kemker, K. (2005). The digital learning environment: What the research tells us. Apple White Paper. Retrieved from

Lindsay, J., & Davis, V. (2012). Flattening classroom, engaging minds: Move to global collaboration one step at a time. New York: Allyn and Bacon. Chapter 7: Choice.

Lombardi, M.M. (2007). Authentic learning for the 21st century: An overview. ELI Paper 1. Retrieved from
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marilyn_Lombardi/publication/220040581_Authentic_Learning_for_the_21st_Century_An_Overview/links/0f317531744eedf4d1000000.pdf

O’Connell, J. (2012). Learning without frontiers: School libraries and meta-literacy in action. ACCESS, March, 4-7. Retrieved from
http://www.asla.org.au/publications/access/access-commentaries/school-libraries-and-meta-literacy.aspx

Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Framework for 21st century learning. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework

Wheeler, S. (2015). Learning with ‘e’s: Educational theory and practice in the digital age. United Kingdom: Crown House Pub Ltd. Chapter 12: Literacy in a connected world.