Over 380,000 students in twenty-eight states have committed to celebrate Digital Learning Day, a national awareness campaign designed to celebrate innovative teachers and highlight instructional practices that strengthen teaching and personalize learning for all students.
The first Digital Learning Day will be held on February 1, 2012. It is the culminating event in a year-round national awareness campaign to improve teaching and learning for all children. Digital learning is any instructional practice that is effectively using technology to strengthen the student learning experience. Digital learning encompasses a wide spectrum of tools and practice, including using online and formative assessment, increasing focus and quality of teaching resources and time, online content and courses, applications of technology in the classroom and school building, adaptive software for students with special needs, learning platforms, participating in professional communities of practice, providing access to high level and challenging content and instruction, and many other advancements technology provides to teaching and learning. In particular, blended learning is any time a student learns, at least in part, at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and, at least in part, through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.
“I’m excited to see the momentum building for Digital Learning Day,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “These states have really embraced the issue and are planning exciting celebrations within their own states to support the national discussion about effective applications of technology in education.”
On Digital Learning Day, a virtual national town hall meeting will be broadcast live from Washington, DC, and will highlight four to six satellite locations. The town hall meeting boasts support from twenty-five core partners made up of national membership organizations, and a broad array of stakeholder groups, including principals, school board, content area specialists, and instructional technology professionals; twenty-seven states that are planning their own statewide celebrations; twenty-six instructional technology experts who are hard at work developing toolkits and resources to support educators at all the state, district, school, and classroom levels; and nationally known companies, such as Intel Corporation, Google, and SMART Technologies.
The celebration of Digital Learning Day will be tailored within each participating state. Some activities these states are planning include a proclamation from the state governor, a showcase of student work through digital learning, lesson plan contests for teachers, announcements of digital learning projects, and highlights of promising practices within and among states.
Visit www.digitallearningday.org to learn more about Digital Learning Day or to read the Alliance for Excellent Education’s report The Digital Learning Imperative: How Teaching and Technology Meet Today’s Educational Challenges.
For example, on Digital Learning Day, the Indiana Department of Education will kick off the state’s twenty-nine-day ―Web 2.0 Challenge. Then, on each day in February, it will introduce a new resource complete with tutorials and tips on its blog. The challenge is for educators to explore the shared tools and post thoughts and ideas about how they could use them to enhance student learning. Additionally, the state will encourage districts to post a three-minute video telling their own Digital Learning story to the Indiana Department of Education YouTube channel.
"Educators all over Indiana work every day to advance and expand their efforts to take advantage of technology to improve student outcomes," said Candice Dodson, director of eLearning at the Indiana Department of Education. "Digital Learning Day gives us—and all states—a chance to shine a light on the exciting ways digital learning is happening in schools."
All are welcome to participate in this celebration of innovation. Act now! Join the important national and local discussions by signing up to learn more about Digital Learning Day at http://www.digitallearningday.org.
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit http://www.all4ed.org.