7 Digital Learning Theories and Models You Should Know

While pursuing our teaching degrees we were introduced to various learning theorists and their insights about how people learn best. Some familiar names, included Piaget, Bandura, Vygotsky, and Gardner. Although understanding these theories is still important, we also need to become familiar with theories, models, and approaches, which provide us insight on how technology, social media, and the Internet impact our learning. Digital learning theories and approaches, such as RAT, SAMR, TPACK, Digital Blooms, Connectivism, Design Thinking and Peeragogy, help teachers develop curricula that gets students to use technology to research, curate, annotate, create, innovate, problem-solve, collaborate, campaign, reform and think critically. These are skills I outline in my book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies with EdTech Missions. Digital learning approaches consider what students are currently doing online and help us design curricula to help students gain the digital skills they need to thrive in a digitally connected world. Below are some useful links to discover more about these approaches. Another approach you might be interested is Game Design and Gamification. We are currently learning about digital learning models and approaches in the free Goal-Minded Teacher (#EduGoalsMOOC) online course, which you can still join.

Get your copy of Hacking Digital LearningThe 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!


Challenge:  Explore one of these digital learning theories to see how you can make at least one change enhance the way you integrate technology.

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.


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