Wednesday 1 Feb, 2012

Digital Learning Day 2012

It’s Digital Learning Day!

Today marks the first Digital Learning Day – a celebration of all they ways technology and digital media can engage students and enhance educational experiences.

“Digital Learning Day isn’t about technology for technology’s sake—it’s about recognizing the great potential that effective technology combined with powerful teaching and rigorous content has to transform the world of learning,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia.

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Digital Learning Day was spearheaded by Alliance for Excellent Education and several partner agencies and organizations. The Alliance for Excellent Education, headed by Democrat Bob Wise, created the Digital Learning Now initiative in late 2010 in a bi-partisan effort with former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education. The effort aims to encourage states to make policy reforms to increase access to digital learning opportunities.

Virtual Town Hall

One of the main events of Digital Learning Day will be a Town Hall featuring U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski. Broadcasting from The Newseum in Washington, D.C., the event will reach more than 20,000 students and teachers online at schools across the country.

Other Digital Learning Day webcasts will take place throughout the day focusing on leadership and innovation, instruction, and professional learning & teacher effectiveness.

Digital Learning Resources

Want to find new ways to bring technology into students’ lives and lessons? Take a look at these resources:

Learn the 10 elements of high quality digital learning.

Edutopia asked hundreds of teachers to share their best tech-teaching ideas.

Try these  three tips on integrating technology in the classroom from U.S. News and World Report.

The New York Times’ Learning blog highlights 40 years of technology and education reporting. They suggest sharing some of their selected articles with students and asking them to guess the year the articles were written. It’s fun—a little shocking—and will give you and your students a lot to think about. (I tried this out by reading quotes from the stories aloud to my coworkers and having them guess the year – “Price as Right” rules applied.)

The blog also encourages everyone, regardless of previous experience, to explore learning with digital technology by doing three simple things:

You may also want to check out “Teaching with and about technology” resources, also from the New York Times.

And from Digital Learning Day comes Instructional Tools and Ideas, a collection of  resources – videos, games, computer programs, apps and other resources for lessons across subjects and age levels.

Check out the ALA’s Best Websites for Teaching and Learning.

Teachers may also find valuable resources with Apple’s Education Apps and Microsoft’s Technology in the Classroom guides.

PBSKids Lab and PBS LearningMedia provide videos, lesson plans, multimedia, games and other resources to enhance lessons with media.

And last, but not least, read up on Education Week’s on-going series on virtual education.