What is the DDL and how do I get started?

 

The idea of being a good digital citizen becomes more important as schools start to adopt 1:1 initiatives, get more comfortable with students bringing in their own technology and use various technology as a part of the learning process. Where does this get taught? Who teaches it? How do we keep track of all of this? How do we know what areas need addressing and/or follow up? We know from research in innovation adoption that when we don't work to ensure that an innovation has certain attributes that there is a much lower chance of its adoption. Increased rate of diffusion if potential adopters perceive that the innovation:

1. Can be tried on a limited basis before adoption.
2. Offers observable results.
3. Has an advantage relative to other innovations (or the status quo).
4. Is not overly complex.
5. Is compatible with existing practices and values.

When an innovation fails to meet these criteria it is often rejected by potential adopters. If you want people to move to NxGL (which isn't a new idea, but hey, go with the flow) you need to help them cross the addoption chasm that occurs when looking at disruptive change. The DDL project allows learners (wether they be students or teachers) to get exposure to the concepts that they need to be digital (and analog) citizens. Cases are built and become accessible by any student who can take the practice and evaluative exercises to both facilitate and certify their knowledge. Teachers, Principals and Central Office folks can access student "Case Data" for certification needs. If a student moves schools they can take their license with them. By providing schools with with this content and a mechanism to manage the data we hope to be a catalyst in helping schools move to NxGL environments by lowering the "activation energy" (See this if your chemistry is a little rusty) of a the transition process and giving students (and teacher, principals, board members, parents, etc.) exposure to some fundamental concepts. Much like a drivers license, we don't expect this to turn students into "good drivers" but at least give them a base coat of knowledge to get them moving (Of course we'll never make any money using measured statements like that). I meant to say, AFTER ONE HOUR ON THE DDL, YOUR SCHOOL WILL BE TRANSFORMED!! Unbridled hyperbolye is fun, but of course this is just one component in a larger plan. Remember catalysts speed up a reaction, but don't change the products (i.e. garbage in = garbage out, just at an accelerated pace).

While we are pretty stoked about this initial implementation, the potential power of this comes when we people in the DDL comunity start adding additional content, such as case on media literacy. A step beyond that is to have mainstream curriculum content cases, potentially giving schools and teachers to start engaging in more anywhere/anytime learning. A student in Jessamine County might be using a chemistry case built by someone in Pulaski that he "sends" to his teacher Ms. Smith, simultaneously using an english case by someone in Logan County that he "sends" to Mr. Riley. These teachers have now carved out critical face-to-face time where they can answer specific questions, have student, engage in different types of performance assessment, working in groups or with specialized equipment (e.g. in the science lab). Pretty cool. Again, non of this stuff is really "new", but it's not trivial or easy. When someone takes a case the results are available in a color coded matrix that can be used to shape interventions, group work or in-class debriefing. Students have access to materials whenever then need them wether that is in the middle of an activity or at home during a snow day.


Teacher gathers materials from various places to teach a concept

These resources are assembled into some sort of presentation or activity, which is then taught.


With some extra work these things can be assembled into a case.To sound extra cool we'll call it a multi-media pathway for learning. This then becomes self paced and asynchronous, which has been shown to increase the rate of content coverage.


A small step towards personliazation, but a step none the less. Other teachers can instantly leverage the knowledge base for students in their classes or remix the cases to create their own MPs. This touches on the OER movement.

As more people create these the knowledge base available to learners (both students and teachers) grows rapidly. Maybe students create cases as examples of material mastery or just for helping out a fellow student. In an ideal world this should grease the wheels for students and teachers to construct "playlists" to further personalize learning.

It's not rocket surgery, but it is a shift from how we think about developing and sharing materials in schools. A small shift here and there and all of a sudden you can have a markedly different learning environment.

From a knowledge management perspective this is a much different take on the LMS. Development is defined at a much smaller unit than a course and it is meant to be shared and used by many. Most KM initiatives seem to start at the higher/distal level of the organization and work their way down. We are working from the flash point of learning and working our way up. Will it work? Who knows? We'll learn somethign either way. More to come.........

Marty Park, Jaime Lassman & Gerry Swan (and a shout out ot Matthew Constant who came up with the term)


the digital drivers license project is sponsored by the p20 digital learning design lab.

digital learning design lab