What are the principles that have been shaping the digital literacy department?
We have been speaking about connected learning which in my department’s view is not about a particular platform or technology but an approach to learning. An approach to understand how learning operates. It is saying that, for each learner there is a kind of experience that is optimal from the learning perspective, and that, is key to what it means to thrive and grow up in a digital and networked age.
We are at a critical historical moment for an approach to learning that is about social connectivity, about exploration, discovery, inquiry based learning that is driven by real world problems tied to young people’s interests and identity. We are seeing a tremendous opportunity in today’s networked world around social connectivity, the ability to mobilise relationships and communities. This is an unprecedented opportunity: connecting learning to real world engagement, about having porous boundaries between the classroom and the community and the home.
These ideas of learning and what makes good learning are not new. It is just that we have been handed these tools to suddenly make these forms of progressive, empowered, inquiry based learning accessible in a much more broad based ways.
We are trying to help teachers understand that if they do not offer such opportunities to all children we will see a gap widening between the privileged and the less privileged young people and families. Families who are educated and well off recognise that learning that is focused on interest and enrichment; out of school learning: drama, ballet, art, music and now the robotics classes that make productive use of new technology; that these are the ways that kids are really going to get ahead. And they are going outside the public infrastructure in order to access this additional advantage.