10/29/2015

Warner School Launches Discussion About “Learning in the Digital Age”

The Warner School of Education is launching biweekly discussion sessions for faculty and students to explore “Learning in the Digital Age.”

“Digital spaces have created very different opportunities and transformative changes about how we access information, what kinds of information, how we communicate with each other, how we learn in these spaces, and even how new knowledge is constructed and disseminated,” said Raffaella Borasi, dean of the Warner School. “All of these things, when you put them together, have major implications for education as we know it, both for formal education in K-12 schools or in universities, and, even more importantly perhaps, for the learning and development that happens outside of those formal spaces.”

The sessions, which begin November 4, will be held every other Wednesday, from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Palladoro Methods Classroom.  Each session will include a brief presentation relevant to that session’s topic, but will emphasize open discussion and sharing of ideas. Participants will be invited to read supplemental material to prepare for each session, and as follow up.

“We want to create a structure where people in the school with different research interests around learning in the digital age can learn from each other and really enrich each others’ work by sharing seminal readings or the theoretical lenses that they may be using,” Borasi said.

Key topics will include:

  • Learning in digital spaces
  • Teaching in digital spaces
  • Knowledge production and product creation in a digital age
  • Doing research in and about online spaces
  • Implication of learning in the digital age for higher education
  • Implication of learning in the digital age for K-12 schools

“As a school of education we are particularly invested in this,” Borasi said.  “We are interested in thinking also about how we can bring some of the theoretical lenses and research results about how people learn and best teaching practices to these new arenas where certain things have changed, but also where general principles can cut across, no matter where learning occurs.”

The new initiative expands upon an online initiative included in the school’s 2013 strategic plan. At that time, the school was exploring the need to launch online courses, train online instructors, research the impact of online learning, and leverage online instruction as a way to provide greater access to learning.

The Warner School decided to look at the broader topic of learning in the digital age, Borasi said, because  “if we think just in terms of online courses, whether offered at universities or K-12 schools, we are missing some big pieces . . .  about the new opportunities that online spaces provide for communication, learning, and access to information, and how that may address different aspects of peoples’ learning and development.”

Tags: Learning in the Digital Age, LIDA sessions, online education, online learning