Digital Learning Day aims to change education’s direction

Perhaps most noteworthy, AEE has more than 250 school districts, representing approximately 2.5 million students across 42 states, participating in its groundbreaking new initiative, called Project 24, which will help school districts plan for, and effectively use, technology and digital learning.

The “24” in Project 24 represents the next 24 months, a time during which the nation’s education landscape will change greatly as states and districts face numerous challenges—including the need to implement college- and career-ready standards for all students; use online assessments to gauge comprehension and learning; push for greater system and classroom innovation; deal with shrinking budgets; and contend with demands of states’ waivers from key provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

To participate, a school district must (1) sign up at; (2) assemble a team composed of the district superintendent or a representative, a district curriculum leader, the district technology director, and a district professional development leader; and (3) take the free self-assessment. Upon completion of the self-assessment, a confidential, customized report will be generated for each district.

“With Project 24’s self-assessment tool, district leaders can frame their vision for student learning, begin to recognize the various aspects of the system that need to be addressed, and specify how technology can help align these efforts to achieve higher college- and career-ready standards,” said Bob Wise, AEE president and former governor of West Virginia. “It will help district leaders move beyond counting computers and internet connections to analyzing how they can integrate technology into their instructional plans.”

Partnering with other national membership organizations, the Alliance has identified a framework with seven major components that will provide education leaders in states and school districts with tools to make good decisions about how technology aligns with the goals and visions for their students. The framework will provide assistance to districts on (1) academic supports, (2) budget and resources, (3) curriculum and instruction, (4) data and assessments, (5) professional learning, (6) technology and infrastructure, and (7) use of time.

In conjunction with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University, AEE has developed a Massive Online Open Course for Educators (MOOC-E), called “The Digital Learning Transition in K–12 Schools: A Planning MOOC for Educators.” The six-week course is designed to provide a new type of learning experience for education leaders, one that will help them identify the potential of technology-enabled learning opportunities for the district, including its leaders, teachers, and students. The course will kick off on April 8.

More information on Project 24 is available at

Want to get even more involved? Throughout the rest of February, educators are encouraged to capture digital learning in action. Enhance and share your photo using the Instagram photo app, and tag it using #DLDay and @digitallearningday. Remember to review Instagram’s policies, and be sure that any students included in your photo have necessary waivers. Digital Learning Day will post the best photos on its website, and there might even be prizes for the best photos at the end of the month. Learn more here.

Follow Associate Editor Meris Stansbury on Twitter at @eSN_Meris.

Meris Stansbury

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