Definitions and their value

How would you define digital learning? 

Learning is learning. Whether you use technology or not is relative. Using the tools and technologies I outline above will enable you to connect with more content and peers, more quickly and effectively. However, learning without technology is also a reality for all of us.

………. Last week in Sydney at the Future of Higher Education conference, I asked an expert panel why those of us involved in education are so obsessed with prefixes. We hear about digital learning, e-learning, blended learning, mobile learning, and even micro-learning. Students don’t really care what the learning is called, as long as they learn, and ultimately pass their exams and achieve their grades. Does it matter what we call it and what prefixes we apply? Many of the above kinds of learning overlap considerably, and the technologies we use are similar if not identical. 

One of the best responses from the panel was that the prefixes are there not for the learners but for the professional community – i.e. teachers and especially academics – to gain some kind of purchase on exactly what we are discussing. I can see the point in this. But I still feel uncomfortable with the idea that we should differentiate between different kinds of learning. Ultimately, what ever tools are used, they must be used appropriately and effectively. I still hold to the belief that learning is learning. …………..

So true. At times the names are more for branding than anything else. Fancy names won’t add any additional value to the learners and the users.

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