The Digital Learning Hub (DLH) is an online repository of PA-relevant, third-party resources that can be accessed at any time by all members. Using the content areas identified in the PAEA’s Learning Map, the DLH has thousands of pieces of content available to support faculty and student learning.
The DLH provides easy access to professional development resources to help educators and their students keep up with the latest in teaching practices and technology tools, while also encouraging innovation. Resources include videos on learning management system essentials, such as how to use Blackboard or Canvas, best practice tutorials for recording classes and adding polling questions, and much more. In addition, the DLH features webinars and virtual office hours to provide live support for faculty with technical issues and questions.
During the pandemic, the DLH helped PAEA members stay connected to their students and colleagues and continue to offer high quality education to the community. By making thousands of educational resources available to all members with a login, the DLH helped ensure that pedagogical and professional needs were met for all stakeholders in a way that was most beneficial to the students, faculty, and wider community.
With the pandemic coming to a close, the DLH is now home to the Connected Learning Research Network, a network that fosters dialog and collaboration among scholars, designers and educators seeking to leverage today’s technologies for progressive education goals. The DLH is also a permanent home for the legacy of the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning research initiative, which ceased operation in 2018.
Kelvin Kanu, 13, from Fourah Bay College Secondary School in Freetown, Sierra Leone loves spending time on the internet exploring different topics and learning new things. So when he heard of the Digital Learning Hub, housed at his college’s information centre, he was eager to visit.
The DLH offers a range of learning opportunities, from virtual reality and gaming to coding and 3D printing. Other facilities and programmes at the hub include youth skills training, a teen-turn+ programme for aspiring teen science and tech enthusiasts, and the provision of services that support learners, such as typing CVs, photocopying, and access to computers and laptops.
Located in the Daveyton Shopping Mall, the Hub is staffed by a mix of experienced permanent staff and out-of-school youth who are engaged on a digital skills programme designed and delivered by Edunova. Currently registration for School 42 and training in coding, design thinking, blockchain and cybersecurity is free of charge. As the hub evolves, Edunova plans to broaden its appeal and bring it into the retail space to make it accessible to more young people. The enthusiasm and excitement that the DLH is seeing in young people is a sign of a hopeful future and is helping to give them the optimism they need to thrive in a world that is rapidly becoming more digital.