Emerging Issues with Digital Learning
I believe the largest issue we have right now with digital learning and leading lies within the classroom itself with the relationship between the student and teacher. What I mean by this is the actual connection between student assessment and instructor evaluation. If we, as educators, cannot overcome the obstacles and grow and change with times, we will never be able to help our students reach their full potential. If we continue to teach how we have always been taught, we will never get the change in results that we are trying to achieve. “Most schools are assessing 21st century students and teachers with 20th century evaluation methods” (Nielsen, 2015). As educators, we must be able to explain to administrators what is going on in our classroom, and what type of digital tools and resources we are using in order to obtain proper evaluation and assessment of our work. We must also accept the fact that a paper test is not necessary after each objective in order to prove mastery of that content. By using digital tools and resources, we eliminate most of that paper trail, but we need to recognize that the students are still doing the work, learning the material, and proving their knowledge; they are just doing it in different forms. “Student assessment is often invisible when using digital tools and it is a part of rather than apart from instruction” (Nielsen, 2015). I love Nielsen’s idea of assessment being a part of instruction. The assessments should be made as the students are learning. As we are introducing the material, and as the students are comprehending the material with various digital tools, we are also assessing them along the way. The old style of transfer material from teacher to student, then test the student over material is pretty much null and void. The assessment and instruction is now one in the same instead of being two separate pieces of the puzzle.
I know issues with connectivity are almost considered a thing of the past, but it is still a struggle for some! I hear people talking about it every now and then for the low-income, or less fortunate students, but it goes further than that. There are also geographical restrictions. Most schools now offer free wifi to their students, along with computer labs and more. Connectivity while at school is not the issue. The problem arises when students are outside of the school. We cannot fully expect each and every student to have the same resources across the board. For example, I live in an extremely rural area. I still, in 2016, cannot get high-speed internet: cable, or DSL, in my home. The only internet connection I am able to connect to at my house is through my cell phone data. I am aware of the obstacles that many students are faced with, so I always try to be open and help students find solutions if problems arise.
Nielsen, Lisa (2015, November 17). 5 Critical Issues In Digital Learning- Best Practices + Lessons Learned. Retrieved May 1, 2016, from: http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2015/11/5-critical-issues-in-digital-learning.html