Participate: Joining a Digital Learning Community (DLC) Quest

posted May 13, 2016, 9:59 AM by Emily Kroutil   [ updated May 19, 2016, 7:56 AM ]
This Quest is all about digital learning communities.  I've apparently been part of one of these communities and just didn't know the Ed lingo term!  I've been a member of Khan Academy for a few years now.  I looked at a few DLCs ( Khan Academy, TED Ed, Connexions, CosmoLearning, and Harvard Open Learning.  

I liked these 5 sites because they seemed very reputable.  Khan Academy and TED Ed have excellent videos that teach a variety of topics.  TED Ed's videos are a little more flashy with cartoons while Khan Academy's videos are more of the screencast approach and most feature Sal Khan's perfect-for-teaching voice.  Harvard Open Learning was interesting to me because it gives people from all walks of life the ability to listen in on a lecture given by a Harvard professor without having to pay the steep admission fees or try and pass the rigorous application process.  And face it, not all of us are in a place in our lives where we could be full-time college students, even if we wanted to!  I liked CosmoLearning because it seemed like it could be a useful place to find information when teaching virtual school and also seemed like it was geared more towards traditional students, whereas Khan Academy and the Harvard Open Courses are geared towards all types of learners, even adults.  Lastly, I looked at Connexions because it seemed like a place where educators could share materials they've created with each other.  Of these five, I have joined Khan Academy (actually, I was already a member!).  I love using Khan Academy with my students because it awards them badges, allows me to easily check their progress, and I know the videos are factual and giving the kids fact-based information.  I like using Khan Academy for myself because I love listening to Sal Khan's voice (I even read his audiobook just to hear his voice!).

When digital citizens are good people and polite to others online, it makes people less hesitant to join a DLC.  No one wants to learn in a place where the people aren't friendly or respectful, whether that place is a brick and mortar school or online!