In this course, you will explore several key issues that educators need to understand about teaching and learning in the digital age. We will look at how online learning is different from traditional methods of learning, examine how the digital practices of young people are continually changing, and explore some key considerations that need to be addressed while designing learning environments that are engaging and student-centered.
We will investigate the ways in which education is evolving and, in turn, how the roles of teachers are changing in the digital world. We will review the history of online learning, and some key characteristics of successful online learning spaces.
We will learn about digital literacies and how online reading and writing is different from paper-based reading and writing, and what implications this has for schooling.
Finally, we will look at some key design considerations that educators need to be mindful of while working toward deeper engagement and meaningful learning experiences.
This course is part of the Virtual Online Teaching (VOLT) program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. The VOLT program seeks to equip educators with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the needs of the 21st century learner.
Week 1: Introduction
Introduction to how technology can help in the classroom, how the roles of teachers are changing in response to trends in and policies regarding technology, and how an understanding of learning theories helps with designing learning spaces
Week 2: Online Learning
Introduction to the history and development of online learning spaces, the key elements and advantages of online learning, synchronous and asynchronous learning, and important considerations and best practices for educators when they teach in online and hybrid environments.
Week 3: Digital Literacies, part 1
Introduction to how individuals make and communicate meaning with digital tools in online communities, defining characteristics of participatory communities, connecting learning with learners’ existing digital literacies, and the relationship between digital literacies and identity.
Week 4: Digital Literacies, part 2
Introduction to the practices of participatory communities, such as remixing, as well as how writing and reading differ when using digital tools in online contexts and how these differences can be leveraged to change learning and teaching.
Week 5: Blended Learning
Introduction to blended learning contexts with a focus on how and why to integrate digital technologies, tools, and networks to augment classroom learning and teaching.
Week 6: Design of Learning Spaces
Introduction to the principles and practices of online design, how these concepts of design relate to the principles of scaffolding and assessment, the educational potential of games and gaming for learning, and other issues to consider regarding online learning such as education standards and professional development.
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