Designing for Digital Learners (D4DL)

Designing For Digital Learners D4DL

The Designing for Digital Learners or D4DL research theme investigates the application of Technology Enhanced Learning or TEL (e.g. mobile devices and social media) to mediate, augment, support and transform learning.


Theme summary

The nature of learning is being enhanced and mediated by the likes of mobile devices and the networks and media to which they connect people. Consequently, there is a need to re-examine approaches to the design of, and research into, learning experiences that incorporate TEL within learning contexts.

This research theme focus on the six principles summarised below and follows an 'educational design research' methodological approach; this is an approach that tends to have interventionist characteristics, is process oriented and contributes to theory building. D4DL also takes a pedagogically driven approach to investigating learning, mediated by digital media, across a variety of contexts (e.g. Further Education/tertiary, HE, schools, work-based, 'informal'). Digital media can include such innovations as augmented reality, location based services and the affordances of mobile devices and social media in general.

Over the past five years Professor Cook and the London Mobile Learning Group (LMLG) have developed a body of literature and project outcomes upon which they base the following six guiding principles for thinking about the use of social media and mobile devices for social justice and learning (see for details and related publications):

Six Principles for Thinking about the Use of Social Media and Mobile Devices for Social Justice and Learning.

  1. It is a democratic right to have equity of access to cultural resources (widely defined).
  2. Mobile phones are new cultural resources that operate within an individualised, mobile and convergent mass communication system.
  3. Users are actively engaged in 'generating' their own content and contexts for learning. This principle is summarised as 'user-generated contexts'.
  4. Appropriation is the key for the recognition of mobile devices (as well as the artefacts accessed through and produced with them) as cultural resources in and across different cultural practices of use, in particular everyday life and formal education.
  5. There is a significant potential for the use of social media and mobile devices in informal, professional, work-based learning. Slides on talk related to Principle 5 are available at:
  6. Social media and mobile devices can be used to design transformative, augmented contexts for learning. Talk:

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