Define Learning

Continuing the rant from last week about educlichés, our department focus document1 also includes several instances of another vaguely defined phrase: “digital learning”.

In fact, our job is not to help teachers understand the concept or make it part of the curriculum. The task is to…

Develop a definition of Digital Learning in [the OLSD2], identify how it impacts teaching and learning, and articulate why it is important to students’ learning.

Interesting. From reading that charge, I would have to conclude that Digital Learning is a separate idea from the learning that students do, and apparently from the process of teaching as well.

It’s certainly possible to learn without the use of digital tools. But is learning with digital tools fundamentally different than without them? Do we need a discrete phrase like “digital learning”? Or is it in the same class as 21st century learning – an oft repeated cliche linked to a collection of vaguely defined ideas?

Anyway, we will not be working alone in the effort to develop that definition. Over the next few weeks the district is holding a series of public meetings asking parents, students and other members of the community to contribute their ideas to the mix.

It will be interesting to see who shows up and what they have to contribute. I don’t expect large numbers since community sessions like this only draw big crowds for issues like boundary changes but I’d love to be surprised by some enthusiasm for issues related directly to instruction.

Stay tuned while we solve the mysterious identity of Digital Learning.

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