Creating and Implementing Significant Digital Learning Environments

You might remember, if you frequent this blog or have read my “About Me” section lately, that in addition to being an 8th Grade Photography Teacher, I am also a Beta Teacher (Prek 3) at a private school in Houston, TX.  In reality, I am a Beta teacher 90% of the time and go up to middle school every other day for only 45 minutes while my little ones are napping.  You may have forgotten that tidbit since a lot of my focus for my innovation plan has revolved around my middle school class, but for the purposes of this assignment, I’d like to go back and focus on a project that I’d like to expand in my Beta classroom.  At our school, we are already pretty involved in the Rice Literacy and Culture Project, specifically, the Classroom Storytelling Project, but a goal that we had this past year was to incorporate more student stories throughout the year.  My co-teacher and I met our goal for the year, but now I’d like to expand it even further with a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (BHAG).

My BHAG, or Overarching Goal, is to develop and create the Beta Storytelling Museum where learners will identify problems and present solutions in each of their dictated stories, while incorporating descriptive language with the assistance of teacher prompts.  In addition, learners will create digital stories through the use of educational technology and electronic devices to demonstrate effective implementation of their digital learning environments.

taxonomySince the start of my graduate studies, I’ve invested a lot of time in reading and researching educational literature, some of which that have already made a significant impact on my teaching and learning strategies and beliefs.  One of the pieces of literature that I have found to be especially significant is L. Dee Fink’s, A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning.  In his guide, Fink explains, in detail, the importance of designing courses (or learning units, models, etc.) with his six part taxonomy in mind.  He stresses that each of the six kinds of learning, pictured left, are all interactive ways of learning, and must be considered when designing course outcomes (Fink, 2003).  In addition, I’ve been able to build an outline of my course goals by addressing specific situational factors that Fink addresses in his guide.

As a part of our school’s partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, I’d like to start start a grade level project in which we put on a Beta Storytelling Museum to showcase our Betas dictated and digital story creations.  We will continue to take student dictated stories throughout the year following Rice’s storytelling strategies, however in addition, I’d love to incorporate student created digital stories as well.  This is a creative way to allow students to create a visual for their dictated stories, while encouraging them to utilize our digital learning environment.  Once the learner has a collection of dictated stories and at least one digital story, we will publish them and showcase them in our Beta Storytelling Museum.

Taken from the ShadowPuppet Blog, I’ve included an example of a digital story below.  In this example, a Kindergartner tells us a story while also sharing her art.



Fink, L. D. (2003). A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning. Retrieved June 16, 2016, from A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning

Use in the Classroom. Retrieved June 18, 2016 from







2 thoughts on “Creating and Implementing Significant Digital Learning Environments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s