3 Important Takeaways from Digital Learning Day 2018
March 06, 2018 02:19 pm
Schools and classrooms across the country buzzed with excitement on February, 22, 2018 as thousands of educators and students celebrated the seventh annual Digital Learning Day (DLDay).
The celebrations have come to an end for now, but here are three things we learned from another great DLDay:
1. Technology is transforming America’s classrooms.
Each year, DLDay provides a powerful venue for education leaders to highlight great teaching practice and showcase innovative teachers, leaders, and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes. But it wasn’t always that simple.
When the Alliance for Excellent Education created Digital Learning Day in 2012, the idea of technology in the classroom was a new, even controversial idea. The first DLDay was about creating a safe place for educators to try something new with technology, to give up a little control and see what happened.
In the years since, many schools and school districts around the country have turned every day into a digital learning day. Technology is transforming classrooms. But the DLDay message remains clear: is not just about technology, it’s about learning and enhancing the role of the teacher in America’s classrooms.
2. It’s about the student, not the device.
This year, 2,000 local celebrations decorated the official DLDay map, providing a window into how education technology is incorporated into daily student learning. The key word here is incorporated. This is an important distinction. DLDay is not about putting devices in classrooms, it’s how they are used to advance student learning.
On DLDay, there were countless examples of devices being integrated into student projects and used to expand and enhance the learning experience.
Students in one school spent DLDay exercising, and tracking their miles using QR codes and apps. Others uploaded art projects into digital portfolios, or used stop motion animation to enhance a presentation, or conducted research and engaged in peer reviews using technology.
4th graders using SeeSaw to upload their mini metal sculptures to their Seesaw art folder. We love using Seesaw as an online art portfolio!!! 🎨#DLDay #FriscoFutureReady @OfficialDLDay @AshleyElem @AshleySpecials pic.twitter.com/7KVQ7hCi9g
— Becky Gray (@rebeckygray) February 22, 2018
5th grade student designing stop motion animation of fireworks on his iPad to include in his social studies presentation. Learning inspired. #GPSPersonalized #personalizedlearning #DLDay @OfficialDLDay @gpsdistrict @GreenwichpsCIPL @DrJillGildeaGPS #edchat #edtech #edtechchat pic.twitter.com/knFDRa1Sgp
— Riverside School Admin. Team (@RivSchoolAdmins) February 22, 2018
Researching the Annexation of Texas! The daily integration of technology into our social studies source sets really gets the kids engaged!!! @ElliottLearners#ElliottLearners#FriscoFutureReady@OfficialDLDaypic.twitter.com/561Az5NHzk — Amy Mestayer (@attrett78) February 22, 2018
3. There are best practices for blending teaching and technology. Blending teaching and technology requires structure, planning, and research. But when implemented effectively, schools with a blended learning approach can personalize student learning, give students greater control of their experience, and enhance interactions between students and their teachers.
On DLDay, All4Ed and Future Ready Schools ® (FRS) held a webinar highlighting a California district that is using a blended learning approach to support a performance-based system of progression. Students move through instructional content at their own pace, advancing only once they have mastered all the standards from the previous content level.
In the webinar, leadership from Lindsay Unified School District shared their experience and best practices for blended learning. The webinar also featured the release of a new report, Blending Teaching and Technology: Simple Strategies for Improved Student Learning, which offers a collection of strategies aligned to the FRS framework that school district leaders can use to implement an instructional approach supported by blended learning. Watch the webinar below.
To learn more about Digital Learning Day 2018, visit digitallearningday.org.