What is a Digital Learning Environment (DLE)?
In a digital teaching and learning environment (DLE), each student will be provided access to an iPad on a direct and continuous basis throughout the school day and beyond. The Digital Learning Environment empowers students with “anytime and anywhere” learning. When a student is in class, the iPad is in their immediate proximity and is used regularly and with purpose. Unlike computers in stand-alone or mobile labs, the student also has access to the same device when he/she is at home. More and more states, school districts and schools are moving toward DLE’s.
Why Consider a DLE? Why Now?
The advantage of a DLE is that each student has his/her own iPad and can learn anytime and anywhere. The focus is less on the technology and more on what can be done with it to enhance learning. Schools that have moved to a DLE report an increase in creativity in students that also provides a new sense of enthusiasm and ownership in their own learning.
In addition, a DLE provides continuous access to software, the internet and other resources which in turn provides access to more information than a textbook. The key is the access tp information, engaging students and encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning. Digital Technology empowers students.
Currently in Iowa, over 80 schools have gone to a DLE. That number is likely to double or triple within the next two years because of the successes of the schools that done so.
Why Are We Going To a DLE?
- We are in a “device” world
- Change the way teachers teach and students learn.
- An additional “tool” in education
- Current mobile labs = limited availability
- Students can “connect” with teachers via device
- Iowa Core – 21st Century Skills
- Textbooks and other resources w/in reach
- Enhances higher order thinking skills
- Involving students in active learning and thereby improving student achievement
- Align the curriculum with the Iowa Core Curriculum.
- Prepare students for life beyond high school (21st Century Skills – Digital Instruction).
- Increased collaboration.
- Open the lines of communication between the teachers, students and parents.
Why Did We Choose the iPad As Our Device?
- To increase achievement and engagement in a 21st century teaching and learning environment
- To provide each student with a mobile computing device to use at school and home.
- To minimize the challenges of security, support, training and professional development, initiative costs, and classroom integration,
- To minimize the need for additional technology purchases (Smartboards, document cameras, etc.)
- Apps for Education
- Video Mirroring
DLE Planning and Preparation Process
- Research data regarding DLE and student engagement/achievement
- Determine Infrastructure needed
- Research DLE mobile technology programs
- Recommend a mobile device
- Determine pricing for the device
- Determine funding strategy
- Determine professional support needed
- Purchase devices for faculty
- Train faculty
- Share information with parents
- Solicit questions from parents
- Share information with students
- Conduct parent/student orientation
- Place iPads in students hands in 2013-14