The first annual Digital Learning Day is scheduled for February 1, 2012. This nationwide event will highlight the uses of digital media and technology in schools. Hosted by the Alliance for Excellent Education, the day of celebration will involve 37 states, hundreds of school districts and almost 2 million students and teachers.
Digital Learning Day is the kick-off of a yearlong campaign to celebrate teachers who are innovative in their use of digital learning. The goal of the campaign is to “expand innovation into every city, town, school and classroom in America.” The focus of Digital Learning Day is on digital tools that provide students with rich personalized educational experiences. The day’s events will showcase successful uses of technology in educational settings while encouraging students, teachers and administrators to “try something new.”
The Alliance for Excellent Education, a non-profit advocacy group, describes digital learning as any form of instruction that makes effective use of technology to strengthen the student learning experience. The tools of digital learning range from online tests to online content and courses to software applications that support the learning process. Digital learning also encompasses the concept of blended learning, which mixes traditional brick-and-mortar classroom instruction with material delivered online and accessed at the student’s convenience.
Two major national events are scheduled for Digital Learning Day:
- The Digital Learning Day Webcast (9 A.M. – 12 P.M. EST) will feature video footage of educators from across the nation discussing different applications of digital technology. Classroom demonstrations of instructional strategies for science, languages and social studies will be shown. A portion of the webcast will also be dedicated to the use of digital technology for teacher preparation and professional development.
- The Digital Learning National Town Hall Meeting (1 P.M. – 2:30 P.M. EST) will include live interaction via Skype with schools around the country, profiling teachers who are leading innovative projects that demonstrate the effective use of digital technology in the classroom. The Town Hall will also feature a special joint announcement by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
The Webcast and Town Hall Meeting will be available online for later viewing by other U.S. time zones.
A variety of state and local events are scheduled for Digital Learning Day. In California, the California Writing Project is hosting a live event in Sacramento called Writing Our Future that will celebrate digital learning of writing. In Michigan, a kick-off will be held for a yearlong initiative called The Year of the Digital Learner. Kansas will have Digital Learning Day Open Houses at schools across the state. A complete list of state Digital Learning Day events is available on the Digital Learning Day website.
Bob Wise, former governor of West Virginia and a member of the Digital Learning Council, stated in Education News, “Digital Learning Day is more than just a day. It is about building a digital learning movement that provides teachers with better tools to truly provide a quality education for every child.”
Complete information about Digital Learning Day is available at www.DigitalLearningDay.org. Teachers, students, parents, school administrators and educational leaders can officially become a part of National Learning Day by registering on the website. Those interested in the event can also visit the Digital Learning Day Facebook page and follow the event’s Twitter chat by using the #DLDay hashtag.