Using digital strategies for primary learning
Hazeldine, L. 2020. Using digital strategies for primary learning. in: Bower, V. (ed.) Debates in primary education
Using online digital media is increasingly the primary form in which young people will access information and entertainment – even at the age of 3 to 4 years of age, approximately half the children in the United Kingdom now have access to a tablet device to access online content whilst almost a quarter of 8 to 11 year olds have a social media profile (Ofcom, 2017). Digital online networks have altered much of society, enabling increased access to multimedia information, interactive content and communities on both a local and global scale.
When knowledge is increasingly seen as existing in networks, and learning as forming and navigating these networks, many existing aspects of education are perceived to be subject to change (Siemens, 2005; Mitra, 2006; Downes, 2012). It might be argued that the attributes of digital environments facilitate patterns of learning more appropriate for an information society that requires creativity, divergent thinking and lifelong learning, enabling an ability to adapt to the rapid changes that typify a post-industrial world (Florida, 2006; Robinson, 2010). Pupils’ immersion in digital media and online networks means they inevitably expect education to be a participative, engaging, and active environment (Dede, 2005). Moreover, evidence suggests that pupils’ motivation and attainment can be improved with the intervention of digital learning strategies (Underwood, 2009; Baytak, Tarman and Ayas, 2011; Mitra and Crawley, 2014; Education Endowment Foundation, 2018).
However, digital strategies for learning have been met with criticism and a cautious reception. It has been suggested that the use of digital strategies undermines the teaching profession, making the role of the teacher increasingly obsolete whilst reducing learners to passive receptacles of information, subject to instrumental targets and assessment, which fail to develop deeper levels of understanding (Bauerlein, 2009; Oppenheimer, 2004; Carr, 2011; Selwyn, 2014). Prominent theories of digital learning are contested for failing to provide a sufficient explanation of learning and the role of human agency within the process. This chapter therefore explores whether digital learning theories, strategies and environments enhance or limit pupils’ learning and to what extent the role of the teacher is still important in learners’ development.
|Keywords||Education; Blended learning; Digital learning; Pedagogy|
|Book title||Debates in primary education|
|Output status||In press|
|20 Oct 2020|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||26 Jun 2020|
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