Digital Learning & Leading

Digital Learning and Leading (DLL)

The Master of Digital Learning and Leading (DLL) at Lamar University is a collaborative learner-centered program that embraces technological innovation through collaboration and active and authentic learning that will prepare learners to create meaningful change. In creating significant learning environments (CSLE) by giving learners choice ownership and voice through authentic learning opportunities (COVA) we help our learners grow into digital leaders who can embrace the opportunities of the future.

While technology is continually used to enhance the learning environment in the DLL, it isn’t just relegated to being another tool our learners put in their instructional tool boxes. Innovative technologies are used as catalysts to enhance learning and when effectively employed, the technology disappears into the learning environment. This online program is designed to develop both your digital knowledge and your leadership abilities and give you tools, skills, and knowledge to empower those in your educational community to step outside their comfort zone and into the digital future.

The DLL program is grounded in the learning approaches of Dewey, Bruner, Papert, Piaget other theorists who advocate that learning is an active, dynamic, and social process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current and past knowledge and experiences. The making of meaningful connections is key to the learning and knowing.

The educator and philosopher Mortimer Adler suggests that:

teaching is a very special art, sharing with only two other arts — agriculture and medicine — an exceptionally important characteristic. A doctor may do many things for his patient, but in the final analysis, it is the patient himself who must get well — grow in health. The farmer does many things for his plants or animals, but in the final analysis, it is they that must grow in size and excellence. Similarly, although the teacher may help his student in many ways, it is the student himself who must do the learning. Knowledge must grow in his mind if learning is to take place (p. 11).

In the DLL we create and model significant learning environments where the learner takes control and ownership of their learning. Through authentic learning opportunities, DLL students learn how to purposefully assemble all the key components of effective learning and create their own significant learning environments that will then, in turn, help their learners to learn how to learn.

Research and experience confirm that we learn most deeply through effective collaboration and feedback from our peers. DLL collaborative activities are structured so that students can bring their ideas to their group, examine and test those ideas, and then apply those refined and strengthened ideas to their own projects.

Collaboration is not used as a consensus driving process, rather it is part of the significant learning environment where learners are immersed and engage in productive thinking and problem solving and emerge with enhanced knowledge and skills that they can apply in their own classrooms and professional development.

In DLL the learner will not be asked to sit and get professional development but will be required to go and show what they have learned through the creation of their own authentic projects and learning ePortfolio. The DLL ePortfolio reinforces learner choice, ownership, and voice through authentic learning which the DLL students are then able to share with their learners and their learning communities.

Related DLL links:
DLL Course Goals & Program Map
What You Get From the DLL
How to Succeed in the DLL
DLL Program Map


Adler, M. J., & Van Doren, C. (1972). How to read a book: The classic guide to intelligent reading. New York, NY: Touchstone.

Bruner, J. S. (1960). The process of education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bruner, J. S. (1961). The act of discovery. Harvard Educational Review, 31(1), 21–32.

Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. New York, NY: Macmillan.

Papert, S. (1993). The children’s machine: Rethinking school in the age of the computer. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Papert, S. (1997). Why school reform is impossible (with commentary on O’Shea’s and Koschmann’s reviews of “The children’s machine”). The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 6(4), 417–427.

Piaget, J. (1964). Development and learning. In R.E. Ripple & V.N. Rockcastle (Eds.), Piaget Rediscovered: A Report on the Conference of Cognitive Studies and Curriculum Development (pp. 7–20). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.