With the introduction of these digital tools, we are seeing that everything is becoming connected. People, places and information are able to be interconnected through the use of these digital tools. These interconnections that are made help to enhance the reach and value of not just the information but also our relationships, creating opportunities for learning, working and collaborating (Smith, 2013). Our learning environments are also becoming connected. The connected learning environment is one that demonstrates integration, personalisation, interconnectedness and authentic learning experiences (Smith, 2013).
Throughout my research on connected learning I came across a number of images that help to summarise the main concepts behind the idea. One that I thought summed up the process of connected learning quite nicely is below. It shows how an individual is centered amongst all the different sectors of their life – especially looking at academics, interests and peer culture.
A great YouTube video that discusses digital literacy in a succinct way can be seen below. The video looks at how there are many different forms of literacy that our students will face and providing them with the skills that fall below digital literacy will prepare them for our rapidly changing future.
When developing students digital literacy it is important not to focus simply on how the digital tools are used in the curriculum. Considering how digital literacy supports subject knowledge can help teachers to make sure that the use of technology in the classroom enhances the development of the curriculum rather than simply becoming an ‘add-on’ (Hague & Payton, 2010).
Digital literacy can be seen as a series of interconnecting dimensions. These dimensions include developing skills in communication and collaboration, critical thinking and evaluation as well as cultural and social understanding. By developing digital literacy in specific subjects we can support our students and help them to become effective, competent, critical students of that particular subject in the digital age (Hague & Payton, 2010).
- Connected Learning Infographic | Connected Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2015, from http://connectedlearning.tv/infographic
- Gardner, Traci. Connected Learning In Education. 2014. Web. 28 Mar. 2015.
- Hague, C., & Payton, S. (2010).Digital literacy across the curriculum. Bristol: Futurelab.Retrieved fromhttp://futurelab.org.uk/sites/default/files/Digital_Literacy_handbook_0.pdf.
- Smith, S. R. (2013) The Connected Learning Environment. Educase Publications, July 2013. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/connected-learning-environment
- Starkey, L. (2011). Evaluating learning in the 21st Century: A digital age learning matrix. Technology, Pedagogy And Education, 20(1), 19-39.
- What is Digital Literacy? (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESSIcLO3Z_Q