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How can digital tools help?

In his video, Diana Laurillard provides an overview of ideas for how technology can transform learning presented this week.
Digital methods work best when we’re clear about our educational goals so that’s where we start In Week 1 we looked at the issue of diverse learner needs in a class so we ask ‘how can digital tools help with personalising learning’ not an easy task for a busy teacher with a large class One teacher used a projector to clarify the lesson on learning letters they see the forms and hear the sound associations more clearly than when they just use paper That teacher when she saw the children struggling, asked herself ‘how could technology help?
and came up with the visual presentation, which worked much better for them That’s the ideal approach, to start with the problem and then challenge the technology to help you solve it But you have to know what the technologies are so this week we explore what types of learning we can address with which types of technology We’ll begin by looking at how to design the teaching and learning process using a simple representation of it the Conversational Framework This will help to see where different technologies can play importantly different roles in the way they help learners Then we explore some of the solutions to technological challenges – because they’re never perfect!
And then we come to the technologies made for you the teacher, the Learning Designer tool for example And that provides examples of how other teachers have used digital methods and then supports you in developing your own digital design and then gives you feedback on what you’ve designed For the difficult education issues we have to address we should always ask ‘how can technology help?’ Sometimes it creates its own problems, but as we’ll see, they can be overcome Best of all, it’s fun to use, and exciting when you see how your learners respond

The video shows examples of how we can use digital tools to improve the quality and reach of education. They offer ways of making learning more personalised, and more inclusive. We recommend selecting the English subtitles at the bottom of the screen, as the video contains both English and Arabic.

We also see ways of making it more flexible, which makes it easier for some people to access education. And if we use digital platforms to share professional practice and co-produce educational resources then as professionals we become more productive.

We’ve seen several examples over the last 3 weeks of teachers using digital tools to help learners in different ways. This week we bring that together to consider how to make digital methods work effectively.


How do you feel when you think about digital tools in teaching and learning? Enter 3 words to describe your feelings about using digital methods in the word cloud. You will need to click the back button twice to get back to this page.

View the results

To improve accessibility the results as of Saturday 14th March 2020 are available here as a Google Sheet

If you prefer, you can look at the words others have entered first and use any of those you agree with instead of using new ones with similar meaning. That way we produce a more visible word cloud. It will update as participants add further words.

Are words in the Word Cloud similar to your feelings about using digital methods? Do you feel differently? Come here from time to time to check. Word Clouds can change a lot as more people contribute.

Over to you

In this step, 3 digital methods are already used – the FutureLearn course to participate, the Mentimeter Word Cloud to propose and share ideas, and discussion to discuss them. How do you feel about this and your other experiences of learning using digital methods?

Make your comments by responding to at least 2 other comments, as well as creating your own.

You can see the learning design of Week 4 here, and find out more in the downloads section below.

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