What would be needed to create an ideal digital learning community?
- First and foremost it needs to be easy to access and most importantly FREE. This allows anyone and everyone to be a part of the community.
- Stakeholders need to be able to login in quickly, and filter a simple search to find the information they are looking for at the time.
- Digital citizenship needs to be enforced for students, parents, and teachers within the community. One must feel safe in order to learn and share.
- There needs to be access to peer-reviewed materials and libraries that are easily accessible. It should be clear, concise, and easy.
- All members would have something to say! They would post questions and hunger for responses that cause deep thinking.
- A variety of subjects and topics should be included: arts and STEM.
- Links to other sources outside of the DLC for topics that may not be covered.
- It must be kept up-to-date.
What would be needed to bring such a vision to fruition?
One would need a lot of time to bring this type of digital learning community to fruition. Content, materials, and resources would need to kept up-to-date on a day to day basis. The content would be ever changing and would need to be monitored closely to keep all members safe from misuse of the platform. Materials and resources become “out of date” so quickly that they would need reviewed periodically for accuracy. The creator would need to be tech saavy and knowledgeable about the content found within the DLC. This would allow for two-way communication to take place between users and the person(s) maintaining the DLC.
What can one do to make an existing DLC more attractive to and welcoming for students and teachers?
Many people will judge a book by its cover. To draw students and teachers in, a DLC needs to have an inviting theme and user friendly format. Some things that I look for in an attractive DLC are graphics, videos, simple pull down menus, a “contact me” section, and an “about” section. I always like to check the “about” section for authenticity purposes. I also feel more confident when there is access to a “contact me” section. This lets me know they are willing to answer questions and help if I need it. Seeing graphics and videos tells me that the creators are knowledgeable about using technology. I hate to have to search for what I need so a simple pull down menu that breaks the DLC down for me is a must. , Lastly, the most attractive and welcoming aspect of a DLC is no screaming grammar mistakes.