Does it Change What Learning Looks Like?


Meaningful Online Learning by Nada Dabbagh, Rose M. Marra, and Jane L. Howland
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, January 1, 2019

There has always been a respect for those who have created interesting and challenging online courses. To that end, Meaningful Online Learning presents a framework in which educators can create and employ effective strategies and outcomes for online learning by defining qualities that can serve to make online learning meaningful. Recent events have tasked educators with transforming their physical classrooms into virtual ones, while simultaneously keeping their curricula rigorous, authentic, active and engaging. Dabbagh, Marra, and Howland help us answer the question, "does this change what learning looks like?" Whether physically in a room with your students or working with them in a virtual setting, teaching becomes meaningful when it creates opportunities for "students [to do] things and also [to think] about what they are doing." Regardless of the setting, an engaging and interactive environment makes learning effective and transferable, and therefore meaningful. The authors stress the importance of using technology as part of the action, and not just as a means to an end. In other words, technology should enhance the students’ experience, not merely replace what they would otherwise experience in the classroom. 

Submitted By: Stephanie Haaz Behrens, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Bronx, NY

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