Graham is Engaging Digital Learning in a Globalizing World GRADEDUC9423L

The current "digital" classroom

Future Digital Classroom?

Or none of the above?

Assignment 1 – Journal Entry

As a current online/distance/mobile learner, and in class learner I've had the opportunity to experiment with different learning environments. Although I've not taught with an interactive whiteboard, they are in frequent use at the college I work at and are used in both meetings and seminars. Multi-modality, blended learning and the gamification of the classroom environment has been transforming the college experience for the students I've worked with. Kam Cheong Li in Technology-Mediated Learning: Status and Challenges in Perspective states "As reflected in these spaces, learning modes and learning materials, technology has permeated our education and is becoming the key driver of development" (2015; 5) and this is a statement I couldn't agree with more. Students at the institution I work at are encountering technology on a daily basis, be it as part of an assignment, the use of our Learning Management System (Blackboard) or as part of the core curriculum or programs like Interactive Media Design and E-Business Supply Chain Management. Each of these different methods, blended, distance multi-modal all have both advantages and disadvantages and it's hard to pry them apart. Carey Jewitt argues that there is a change in the pedagogical landscape due to the rise in technology both in and out of the classroom and this effect permeates our curriculum. The Interactive Whiteboard, use of an LMS and blended formats are all new approaches to an ever evolving technological landscape. I've designed and implemented my own online webinars with quizzes and certificates and from the instructor side I found the experience exciting but also frustrating. As a teacher who relies on reading the classroom, the removal of the students from my teaching environment was difficult, it's hard to see if they're truly understanding and I can't rely on off the cuff improvisation. That being said, it required a lot of structure on my part and plan, I was able to really analyze exactly how the lesson would unfold an freeze that 'perfect' lesson in a digital format. As a student, I originally struggled to adapt to online learning, I found that the discussion is more fragmented and this back and forth was the best way for me to learn. I've slowly come to enjoy the online format, the ability to login and learn whenever and wherever I want. I still crave the debate and discussion of the classroom but I believe the forums and discussion boards sometimes fill that void. When I examine the different methods discussed, I found the SOLE concept in Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud TED Talk the most relevant. The students were together and could teach each other, while the instructor guided and encouraged their efforts. As Sugata discussed, the learning doesn't need to be handed out by the teacher but can take place when students interact with each other and a blended online, and in class or group format allows for that.

While I loved the Sugata lecture, I must say, I don't believe knowing is obsolete. Instead I believe that informational hierarchy is obsolete. There is no longer the all-knowing teacher and the empty page students, but instead there are many learners in a classroom including the teacher, and the can interact across digital formats to share knowledge. To borrow Sagata's graphics....

Credits:

Created with images by USACE Europe District - "USACE volunteers celebrate Earth Day with future engineers"

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