4.4c | Digital Learning Environments

As a learning designer, the coach is expected to collaborate with educators to design accessible and active digital learning environments that accommodate learner variability.

When designing digital learning experiences, consideration should be made towards the design of the digital learning environment for an enhanced learning experience.

In the example in my post on “Computational Thinking & Emerging Technologies in Education“, I shared about how MIT Media Lab’s HyperCubes platform made use of augmented reality technology to promote computational literacy. The platform draws upon students’ understanding of their physical environments and the opportunities offered by augmented reality technology. Mixed reality technology like Microsoft’s HoloLens also opens up new possibilities in education by bringing the world into the classroom.

Leveraging the right digital tools can help with creative accessible and active learning environments. I shared about using a tool like Quizlet to help students master various topics using learning tools and gamification. Students can also be encouraged to create artifacts of their learning using tools like Penzu to create an online journal of their learning, Flipgrid to record and share a video response, and Voki to create a talking animated figure.

In the design of a creative writing workshop to promote digital citizenship, I featured the use of digital mind-mapping tool Mindomo for students to brainstorm and generate potential ideas for their stories. Another mind-mapping tool is Mindmeister which I featured in another post on Microsoft Teams integration. For learners who wants to improve their language and reading skills by listening to pronunciations, the Immersive Reader for Teams tool offers the ability for students to have messages and text passages read aloud to them. 

Immersive Reader was originally created as a tool to help people with sight, learning and reading disabilities by removing distractions for the reader so that the user can focus on the content. For example, a student with dyslexia who struggles with reading can make use of the Immersive Reader Tool and have the text on screen read out to them.

In my post on “Culturally Responsive Teaching: Enhancing Student Engagement and Digital Classroom Learning“, I presented ways for coaches to design digital learning environments that accommodate learner variability. Firstly, this can be done by leveraging the right tools like translation tools including text-to-speech translation tools, and collaboration tools like Google Hangouts, Zoom, and ePals. Next, coaches can design blended learning environments, combining face-to-face and online learning experiences to extend the learning beyond the physical classroom. Coaches can  use methods to promote student voice through tools like Jamboard or Miro. Thinglink is also another useful tool in blended/flipped learning as it allows coaches to users turn any image into an interactive graphic by creating hotspots on an image or video that allows users to interact with the content. 


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