Hungry for Learning
Digital Learning Communities can be assessed using tools used to assess a website. Is the DLC authentic? What are the credentials of the primary stakeholders in the DLC? Does it corroborate or contradict information you have found, and which has the stronger validity? Is the DLC current? If there are ratings or a blog on the site, what are other people saying? Open Culture is a good site for students to vet information.
There is always this question we must ask when using the Internet for any purposes. This is a question we must always remind our students to ask. Is the information inappropriate or offensive in any way?
A search engine quest will offer many choices for your particular interests. Additionally, some of those resources will offer information about other sites, further delineating your specific interests.
Open Culture.com, openstudy.com, oli,cmu,edu, Khanacademy.com and ifo.p2u.org all had exciting features for teachers. Certain ones are quite attractive for students, and some for teachers and learners. Info.p2u.org is a fine resource for teachers, especially those who do not have colleagues in their school teaching the same course. Openculture.com has a plethora of varied content. For classic films, audio books and eBooks, it is a gold mine. Openstudy.com is a good place for students to connect. Khanacademy.com has resources for students and coaches. The content is somewhat limited. I found no language arts, social studies or languages available.
Oli.cmu.com offers free courses for students and courses teachers can use with their own classes. French is included. I have just joined this site. There is an option to use the courses for your own classes with permission. I’ll opt for that permission if I find the French courses are applicable in my online classes.
Students are, by and large, quite visually motivated. I think that a DLC that attracts their attention at first with primarily images, rather than a screen of text, will be the most attractive to them. Then, the issues that are most at the fore of a students mind should be those that are first addressed. An appealing site would have simple ways for them to reach out to others and share ideas. Many adolescents are more comfortable with anonymity in undiscovered territory. Giving students a way to participate, while not revealing too much of themselves at first, would probably be most successful.
Good or bad, students today rarely relate to what remains static. There needs to be variety and change on a site that would interest them.