We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.
~ Gauta Buddha
Digital Learning is a new frontier. Education is evolving, faster than many educators can keep up. My name is Julie; I am an educator… a trainer… and an aspiring sherpa for those seeking digital enlightenment. My professional gig is at a mid-sized college in Texas, where I work with faculty in development of courses and learning experiences, especially for delivery in the online environment. I spend a lot of my time providing training and support for faculty, but I also serve in a faculty capacity, teaching several classes each year.
So now that you know a little bit about me, let me tell you some of my thoughts on learning in the digital age.
Learners today have grown up with technology at their fingertips. As educators, we know that in order to reach these learners, we need to be able to harness the technologies they use regularly.
We need to develop innovative ways to use technology to keep the learners engaged, and give them ways that they can use their technology in their educational journey.
So how can we create authentic learning experiences that are delivered to the fingertips of our learners? More importantly, how can we engage and motivate faculty to develop innovative learning experiences for their students?
Here are some tidbits that I hear from our faculty almost daily:
- “The day they were teaching us how to use computers, I was out on the playground.”
- “I am a concert pianist, there’s no way I can learn to use technology.”
- “My students are welders, learning welding. They will never use computers or technology.” (WHAT! Really?)
I want to empower these faculty to incorporate technology into their courses. I want to help them identify innovative ways that they can work collaboratively outside of their existing little domains… to help them realize that their students will work with people from all disciplines throughout their careers. I want to help my institution identify ways to break down the silos that currently exist, and encourage Social Sciences instructors to work with Music instructors… Welding students to work with Theater Arts students. I want to help our faculty develop more project based learning experiences that authentically assess student learning. And I want to help our instructors understand the importance of allowing their students to be in control of their own learning.
This is an exciting time in education! And I think that with a little planning… some research… and lots of professional development, we will create something really innovative and meaningful that support our faculty and provide our learners with better experiences and opportunities. Let’s seek enlightenment in the world of digital learning together!
Lyon, J. (2018) It’s all about keeping learners engaged [Photograph].
Phobus. (2008). Mt Everest from Gokyo Ri: Sunrise from behind Everest [Photograph]. Licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/phobus/2458928006/
University of Pennsylvania (2011). iPad [Photograph]. Licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/pennwic/6039095933