Digital Pedagogy – Learning Journal epilogue

Mind map of components of digital pedagogy

Mind map of components of digital pedagogy

As part of this Learning Journal epilogue for MDN642: Digital Pedagogies, I will justify the above mind map, reflecting on pertinent readings, by addressing the four key ‘ideas’ a teacher looking to demonstrate effective digital pedagogy should enable: Networked KnowledgePersonalisationAgility and 21 st Century Skills.

Networked Knowledge

Central to the idea of digital pedagogy needs to be a reconceptualisation of what knowledge is and how it is acquired. As identified in connectivist theory, knowledge in the 21 st century could be defined as what an individual can access through their personal ‘network’. Further, the development of knowledge, as also identified in connectivism, is that knowledge is generated through identifying patterns and making connections between multiple ‘nodes’ of information. Teachers demonstrating effective digital pedagogy need to enable these knowledge networks for students and encourage an evaluation and authentication of knowledge.

Personalisation

Teacher don’t teach curriculum, they teach students. Embedded in ‘traditional’ pedagogy is the emphasis on the intended curriculum – the Essential Learnings and Ways of Working mandated by the organisation, with little regard for the individual students.

This reconceptualisation was demonstrated in my revised version of the TPACK framework, where the student was the central feature of the teaching / learning design. Effective digital pedagogy requires this understanding and an increased emphasis on the enacted curriculum (which teachers teach) and, particularly, the experienced curriculum (which students learn) (Queensland Government, 2008, P-12 Curriculum Framework ). Fundamentally, this includes a recognition and appreciation of the student, where individual interests, needs, background, prior knowledge and learning styles are build upon and leveraged.

Further, personalisation as a core branch of digital pedagogy includes a negotiation of the what (content), how (mode, method) and when/where (learning spaces) of learning, enabling students to self-direct and take charge of their own learning.

Agility

Borrowing a phrase from Stephen Heppell, teachers need to enable an agility in their work with students to effectively demonstrate digital pedagogy. Fundamentally, this means learning is dynamic, not static, higher-order, not lower-order, responsive, not independent of students, interdisciplinary, not subject-specific, globally-connected, not isolated, and authentic, not from a text-book.

C21 Skills

Skills valued in the 20 th century workforce will not be the same skills valued today or in the future. Opportunities for students to practise 21 st century skills, including collaboration, communication, creativity and self-management skills, need to be embedded in teaching and learning episodes as an essential branch of digital pedagogy.

Final comments and reflection

Notably, ‘digital technology’ was left out of this mind map. As Loveless et. al. (2001) state, the identification ICT when discussing effective pedagogy is as unreasonable as identifying ‘pencils or any other resource’. Instead, digital technologies are integral, embedded and enable most of this ‘digital pedagogy’ to occur. In other words, when a teacher is demonstrating effective digital pedagogy, the digital technologies become an invisible and ubiquitous part of the learning environment – a move from ‘conscious competence’ to ‘ unconscious competence’ when using ICT for teaching and learning.

A colleague of mine often states that terms like digital pedagogy and eLearning will one day be replaced withpedagogy and learning. The thinking behind this is the realisation that these terms are temporary, and are used by educators to describe this new way of working and learning, and that one day, this will be the norm. However, one of my most significant learnings in this unit came when reading Mishra and Koehler (2006) TPACK framework, where the authors identified that the exponential growth of technology will continue drive new ways of working and learning. Therefore, while terms like digital pedagogy may, at present, define a desirable paradigm, a ‘digital pedagogy’ will always exist (although, perhaps using alternative terms) representing the newest, latest and most desirable way of working as innovation and new technologies continue to redefine teaching and learning.

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