e-Learning Ecologies: Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning for the Digital Age
For three decades and longer, we have heard educators and technologists making a case for the transformative power of technology in learning. However, despite the rhetoric, in many ways and at most institutional sites, education is still relatively untouched by technology. Even when technologies are introduced, the changes sometimes seem insignificant and the results seem disappointing. If the print textbook is replaced by an e-book, do the social relations of knowledge and learning necessarily change at all or for the better? If the pen-and-paper test is mechanized, does this change the nature of our assessment systems? Technology, in other words, need not necessarily bring significant change. Technology might not even represent a step forward in education.
But what might be new? How can we use technologies to innovate in education? This course explores seven affordances of e-learning ecologies, which open up genuine possibilities for what we call New Learning – transformative, 21st-century learning:
- Ubiquitous Learning
- Active Knowledge Making
- Multimodal Meaning
- Recursive Feedback
- Collaborative Intelligence
- Differentiated Learning
These affordances, if recognized and harnessed, will prepare learners for success in a world that is increasingly dominated by digital information flows and tools for communication in the workplace, public spaces, and personal life. This course offers a wide variety of examples of learning technologies and technology implementations that, to varying degrees, demonstrate these affordances in action.