Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) can be used in a standalone fashion to address a specific set of learning objectives, but their effectiveness is maximized when they can be seamlessly integrated with other common tools in an educational setting. In fact, today’s classrooms use various learning aids. For example, digital textbooks are rapidly gaining popularity among students and educators. Some of the digital textbook products go beyond simply converting paper books into their scanned versions. They offer additional unique features which incorporate VLEs. Although there are some early VLE adoption attempts, much development work remains to be done in order to take full advantage of VLEs in digital textbooks. The same can be said about other types of digital learning aids such as digital storytelling, online education, and digital badges.
During this National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored workshop, STEM educators will share their research and learn from specialists in education and the computer/software industry on how to improve the adoption of the newly emerging digital learning aid technologies. Throughout this four-day workshop, attendees will form teams to develop mock proposals that incorporate ideas discussed in the daily presentations. In this way, educators work together to immediately put the knowledge gained from the workshop presentations to use and build upon their own prior expertise. Teams will present their proposals to each other to receive feedback on the final day of the workshop.