Digital Learning or just “Learning”

Happy digital learning day. With digital learning in my title I want to contribute on #DLDay.  However, I think my contribution could be to remove the word “Digital”. When I hear digital learning I often think “why are we saying “digital”.  Digital learning is LEARNING with the tools that match students’ needs. I see all learning as enhancing instruction and promoting collaborative learning practices. Digital learning encompasses this in all phases. Each learner has a unique learning style & unique requirement and our role as educators is to match those needs with tools and techniques. There is a paradigm shift in learning.  I see digital learning as a technique that is facilitated to effectively combine different modes of delivery, models of teaching, and styles of learning with digital tools.  Then applying this technique in an interactively meaningful learning environment.

When instructing this way, it is essential to get in the shoes of your students. When you understand your learner’s drive and motivation you will plan lessons to engage minds and have them craving to learn. When students are excited, you will be able to construct a lesson that show learners the ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ of the learning. By tapping into the learner’s real desire to learn, you make the learning process more effective. The more you customize, the more you stimulate internal motivation!

Educators have heard students ask the question, “When will I ever use this in the real world?” And honestly, it’s a great question–one that we should all spend more time thinking about. We can’t facilitate a digital learning lessons and not plan lessons that are relevant to students’ loves.  That is kind of an oxymoron.  Having a long list of vocabulary words that don’t have personal relevance or don’t resonate with a topic done on an iPad is not digital learning. Students need a personal connection to the material, whether that’s through engaging them emotionally or connecting the new information with previously acquired knowledge. Then select the tools that match.

When selecting tools to match learning, ensure the content fosters collaboration and conversation. When students have a 1:1 device it is easy to forget about designing for collaboration and conversation. Educators need to look for opportunities in the content design to ask reflection questions that will stimulate inquiry and conversation. Educators should stimulate student thinking with questions that will generate genuine discussions, conversations that move beyond reciting the right answer.

Once you know your learners, plan for collaborative learning, select your tools – then dig into digital tools/applications to support the learning.  Below are some suggestions to celebrate Digital Learning Day

Tool Description Website
EdPuzzle Enable self-paced learning with interactive lessons, add your voice and questions along the video
Poll Everywhere Versatile, instant classroom response system using student Chromebooks. It is a clicker-free classroom polling tool to solicit student participation and gather data for discussions.
Screencast-O-matic Create and share screen recordings
Today’s Meet TodaysMeet gives everyone the floor and lets even the quietest students express themselves.
Popplet Popplet is a tool for the iPad and on the web to capture and organize ideas.
Kahoot Kahoot! is a free game-based learning platform that makes it fun to learn – any subject, in any language, on any device, for all ages!
YouTube Create your own channel for district/school announcements; use to articulate school initiatives, PD, referendums, support for budget, etc. YOU have a YouTube channel as a Milford educator. Log in using your email credentials.
Zip grade ZipGrade turns laptops into an optical grading machine similar to a Scantron. It reads free-to-download answer sheets in multiple sizes. Provide instant feedback to students by grading exit tickets, quizzes, and formative assessments as soon as they finish.
Capzels Capzles helps anyone create beautiful, interactive, rich-media timelines online using videos, photos, text, music, audio and most documents.
Flubaroo Grade assignments and assessments in under a minute! Get reporting and analysis on student performance
Bing Translate Translator tool to support learning
Quizlet Quizlet makes simple learning tools that let you study anything. Start learning today with flashcards, games and learning tools — all for free.
Podbean A State-of-the-art Podcast Solution for Enterprise,

Large Organizations, and Radio Stations. Teachers use Podbean to upload podcasts to Google Classroom for a few flipped classroom opportunities.






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