Digital Learning Day aims to change education’s direction

“The president and I are convinced that with technology, we have an extraordinary opportunity to expand educational excellence and equity, and personalize the experience for students,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who attended Digital Learning Day in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Donovan’s class at Jamestown Elementary in Arlington, Va., presented their favorite apps during Discovery Education’s webinar celebrating Digital Learning Day.

Along with teachers, students, and parents representing all 50 states, Digital Learning Day garnered support from nearly 50 national partners and 25 corporate partners.

Efforts included:

• Facebook worked with a range of stakeholders to develop resources and tools to help educators understand how to use social media inside and outside of the classroom.

• KnowledgeWorks’ World of Learning blog featured essays about the benefits and opportunities of digital and blended learning. Throughout the year, Principal Erin Frew of Cleveland’s West New Tech High School (who also works for KnowledgeWork’s New Tech Network) will be an expert resource for Digital Learning Day’s toolkit to help teachers in specific subject areas.

• The National Council of Teachers of English released a Framework for 21st-Century Curriculum and Assessment that recognizes that to be 21st-century literate, students must become proficient with the technology tools and use them to create and manage information, build meaningful relationships with others so they can inquire and work together, reflect on their own work processes and products, critically evaluate the multimedia sources and tools they use, and use these sources and tools ethically.

• American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a multi-year initiative of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, featured its Classroom Resources on the Digital Learning Day website. Classroom Resources connects teachers, parents, and students with easy navigation to the best of public media’s educational resources targeted to middle and high school youth.

• The National School Boards Association will be hosting its annual series of Technology Site Visits this spring to provide school leaders and educators with an in-depth look at the policies and practices that support digital learning.

• Global Kids, an in-school and after-school New York City youth program,  had high school students learn about game design skills and global issues using the online platform Gamestar Mechanic. These students became expert mentors and will lead workshops across the city and enroll youth in the National STEM Video Game Design Challenge.

East Elementary School student Chase Whitmore does a lesson using Discovery Education WebMath for students.

• The Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE), which hosts Digital Learning Day, is offering Digital Learning: Lessons in Action, which incorporates multiple strategies with digital learning, such as collaboration, personalized learning, project-based learning, flipped classrooms, virtual access to experts, and simulations.

(Next page: A groundbreaking initiative called Project 24;  an ed-tech MOOC for educators; and Instagram)

Meris Stansbury

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