The goal of this assignment is to explore different Digital Learning Communities (DLC) and join one of the reputable DLC which aligns with my interests.
http://www.openteachertraining.org/ defines digital learning communities as technologically supported environments designed to foster rich instructional and learning experiences.
As an educator who will be charged with teaching tech savvy 21st century learners, I must continue to learn about best practices in classrooms. Fortunately with advances in technology, we are not limited to continue education classes or conferences to gain knowledge and collaborate with colleagues to better serve our students. From our kitchen chair we can collaborate, communicate and exchange ideas with peers by joining a digital learning community. Joining a reputable DLC allows us to work with people with similar interest in safe environment regardless of geographical distance, age or background.
From plethora of available digital communities, choosing one to join is not an easy task. I decided to explore several DLCs. My guideline for defining a DLC as reputable is:
- Safe to use and is available to all students when needed
- Ability to seamless transition of learning from DLC to classroom environment
- Opportunity for respectful communication, collaboration & creation
- Longevity & zero to a limited number of negative reviews
- Expansion of cultural perspectives & inclusion
- Scope for wider Personal Learning Network
Information overload is a side effect of easy access to abundant material. In order to stay sane & manage my time wisely, it was important to bookmark some of the pages I like & use them as jumping off point. I based my bookmarking on student-central learning by choosing them from one or more of following categories:
|Hands-on Activity, self-paced||Makers, DIY & PBS design Squad|
|Academic Content Reinforcement & Enrichment||Khan Academy & MIT Free Online Courses|
|Cultural Exploration, other voices||TED talks, Hindi Kavita & 100 great speeches|
|Getting tool for Educator Toolbox||Continuous everywhere, EdShelf & edublogs|
I have compiled these bookmarks in a Symbaloo below. Go ahead & click on one of the tiles. Please note that the Symbaloo does not allow for the tagging and annotation of bookmarks. At this point, I would like to remind you that the information provided in the links are property of the respective administrator / owner; the views presented on these websites does not represent my views.
Tough Decision to Choose a Reputable DLC
I am going back to classroom after several years. After scrutinizing several options, I decided to join the edublogs community. It has tiered accessibility; educators can explore the community at no cost, get a free blog or update it to a pro blog. With over 4 million members since 2005, it has a reputation for being empowering to the educators. It is supposed to be safe to use, guided by educator ethics and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Teachers (ISTE Standards•T). As a member of joining this community, I am able to expand my Professional Learning Network and connect with colleagues from different disciplines. e.g., by joining the Educator Personal Blog Challenge, I have added an essential tool, the digital presence, in my teacher toolbox, increased knowledge of Creative Commons and attributions & cool tools to use for instruction. Though I am not in a classroom at the moment, via edublogs community, I am mentoring students from around the world for 100 Word Challenge & Student Blogging Challenge. I am in process of collaborating with several educators for guest blogging on each other’s sites. Most impressive advantage of Edublogs is that by providing safe platform, ongoing support, access to class blogs and student blogs, it empowers teachers to make process of joining a DLC more appealing and easier for students.