It’s no secret that technology has greatly altered and advanced learning outcomes both in and out of the classroom. On Wednesday, February 5, millions of students from all 50 states united to celebrate the third annual Digital Learning Day, which was founded and now lead by the Alliance for Excellent Education. Stanley Slaughter, a Development Associate for the Alliance for Excellent Education emphasized the growth in the celebration and stated, “In the three years since its start, the amount of participants has grown from 13,000 to 26,000. [We had] a great turnout including teachers, students, district leaders, parents and policymakers across the country.“
What is it about?
Digital Learning Day is about giving students the opportunity to utilize digital technology in their everyday life and enhance their learning experience to better improve their success rate in college and career. Some of their corporate sponsors include AT&T, Intel, McGraw Hill Education, Microsoft and Scholastic. The event itself is sponsored by Best Buy, Florida Virtual School, INXPO, Learn Zillion and Rosetta Stone. Additionally, the event is partnered with numerous national organizations that all work the Center for Secondary School Digital Learning & Policy focuses each year.
The National Digital Learning Day will be hosted in Washington, D.C. where anyone can stream the conference from the web, which will be broadcast live from the Library of Congress. However, the founders want individuals to make it their own and strike up interests first within schools but also within the cities and towns. Local businesses and city officials can advocate for the positive movement towards technology use in the classroom.
How can you utilize the site?
The website for Digital Learning Day houses lesson plans, activities, toolkits and other resources for schools to use and customize to make the program their own. It breaks down classroom resources by subject and further breaks down each subject by lesson plans and toolkits.
Further searches on the website will lead you to how schools and other officials plan to head off their Digital Learning Day. Teri Brooks, who teaches at Davidson Elementary in North Carolina, is also celebrating the 100th day of School and will instruct her students to teach 100 people how to use their favorite apps using the class iPads. Dallas High School in Oregon is opening their Chemistry and AP Chemistry class along with numerous others so that viewers can experience the Flipped Classroom learning environment. Traice Academy in Oklahoma is asking students to analyze the impact digital media has on their personal lives by becoming aware of their use during a 24 hour time period.
The website lists many ideas and potential activities that range from easy one step movements such as posting fliers with free technology tools to creating year long goals to use technology to deal with issues like cyberbullying. Digital Learning Day seeks to celebrate technology awareness and highlight all of the ways we can use it to improve our classrooms and everyday lives.