Technology is a powerful tool that, when paired with good instruction, can transform classrooms. Don’t believe us? Take it from the thousands of educators and students who celebrated on Digital Learning Day (DLDay) on February 28.
For the eighth annual DLDay, more than 2,300 classrooms, schools, libraries, and districts held events to showcase how technology and teaching can improve student learning. These celebrations demonstrated that technology can…
1. Bring lessons to life
Instead of your basic history lesson on the Alamo, why not put students in the driver’s seat? That’s how students at Point Isabel Independent School District in Texas, celebrated DLDay, by taking a virtual tour of the Alamo Battlefield. Students partnered together to walk through history and hear from experts.
Every day is Digital Learning Day: TX History Ss taking Virtual 360* Tour of Alamo Battlefield @PointIsabelISD@OfficialDLDay#DLDaypic.twitter.com/L0W8xcQIW7
— Courtney Hill (@islaCHill) February 28, 2019
Sending students to outer space isn’t an option, but a high school astronomy class in Orlando spent DLDay with a galactic view. Students at University High School in Orlando, Florida, analyzed photos they took using the NASA EarthKAM on the International Space Station! The high schoolers examined the photos of Earth to get a closer look at and better understand our planet.
Today is @OfficialDLDay! In astronomy class, we’re using technology to access and analyze photos we took using the @EarthKAM_Live camera on the @Space_Station! #DLDay @CDLocps pic.twitter.com/MiwdRQdikL
— UHS Astronomy (@UHSastronomy) February 28, 2019
2. Help students gain ownership of their learning
Giving students the tools to direct their own learning by setting goals, recording their progress, and identifying areas for growth is a great way to help them become life-long learners. On DLDay, students used digital tools to measure their progress and meet goals.
Students in Community Consolidated School District 54 in Illinois integrated digital and traditional strategies to help them read and process texts to meet their independent reading goals.
Student’s have found a variety of ways to integrate digital and more traditional strategies to help them read and process text for their independent reading goals! @CommonLit is a very effective resource for them! #DLDay#innovate54#happycampipic.twitter.com/GkzyjqOJQy — Lori Durchslag (@LoriDurchslag) February 28, 2019
3. Build connections
Using digital tools can be a great way to promote collaboration. On DLDay, students worked together to solve problems, partnered up on projects, and built new relationships with their peers and mentors.
Fifth graders offered a helping hand to their second-grade buddies in Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky, to help them create a comic strip about Dr. Seuss books.
We were late to the party for #DLDay but our 5th grade class collaborated with our 2nd grade buddies, and @KlondikeMrsParr Kindergarteners to create a comic strip about a Dr Suess book. #JCPSBackpack pic.twitter.com/oXsgs5FrIs — Ms.Royse’s Class (@MsRoyse5thGrade) March 6, 2019
In a STEM class at Hanover High School in Mechanicsville, Virginia, engineering students worked together to build and program rovers to complete an obstacle course.
INSPIRED STUDENTS! Engineering students at @HCPSSpecCenter at @hhshawks03 built & programmed unmanned rovers to complete an obstacle course. The class is one of the STEM electives offered to all high schoolers. #InspireEmpowerLead #atraditionofexcellence #DLDay @OfficialDLDay pic.twitter.com/1jbqtsW1XD
— Hanover Schools (@HanoverSchools) February 28, 2019
Students visited the library at Dover High School to spend time working together on a project.
Students collaborating and engaged using technology in the DHS Library. #chatcsd #DLDay pic.twitter.com/fGASMv9Tqr — DHS Library Media (@MooreDHSLibrary) February 28, 2019
4. Inspire innovation
DLDay is always a great opportunity to see how innovative classrooms can inspire incredible creativity in students, with support from their teachers. From designing robots to mastering coding and even 3D printing new inventions, innovation shines on DLDay.
At Mountain View Elementary School in West Virginia, broadcast journalist Jessica Fuller witnessed students using coding to direct the trajectory of racing spheres.
My adventures in #DigitalLearningDay continue at Mountain View Elementary School! These kids are CODING! Isn’t that amazing? They’re inputting code into the iPad to control the tragectory of the sphere. So cool! pic.twitter.com/0cNPD14uuH
— Jessica Fuller WJHL (@fullerjf91) February 28, 2019
Blake, a student in Lakota Local School District, created a model of himself using 3D printing and photography.
Happy #DLDay 2019!!! We’ve got a lot happening today! First up: 3D printing win! Blake was exploring 3D printing and photography to create this model of himself from scratch in #sketchup! @FirebirdTweets @MissHartman96 #WEareEMPOWERED #WEarelakota pic.twitter.com/jWwyiyQZls — Lindsay Conklin (@LindsayConklin) February 28, 2019
Students at Liberty Middle School in Ashland, Virginia used online and hands-on experiments to explore electrical currents.
BLENDED LEARNING! Students at @LMS_EaglesNest used online and hands-on experiments to detect charges, transfer the charges using friction, and investigate the flow of the charges. #InspireEmpowerLead#atraditionofexcellence#DLDay@OfficialDLDaypic.twitter.com/mr3eiNgnFo
— Hanover Schools (@HanoverSchools) February 28, 2019
5. Prepare students for life
Researching potential career opportunities and learning how to apply for jobs is great preparation for the future. On DLDay, students used technology to hone these key life skills.
High school seniors at Sun Valley High School in Aston, Pennsylvania spent DLDay constructing resumes, peering editing cover letters, and practicing interviews in preparation for the big day!
Seniors are choosing templates and are beginning to construct their resumes for @SunValleyHS Mock Interviews, on 3/14. They will then complete cover letters, peer edit, and practice interviewing skills, in preparation for the big day! #DLDay #PennDelcoProud @OfficialDLDay pic.twitter.com/vEcmrTx49R
— Mr. Hill (@MrHillSVHS) February 28, 2019
At Ridgeway High School in Hernando, Mississippi, students explored careers in IT and business communications.
Learning about IT and business communications at RHS for Digital Learning Day 2019.#DLDay pic.twitter.com/dItSrUPyBh — Susan Harris (@read2emSusan) February 28, 2019
Wondering How You Can Lead Innovation and Change?
For digital learning to thrive, school and district leaders need to create conditions that empower teachers to take risks and try new things. But there’s also a critical role for librarians, instructional coaches, and teachers, who can lead this innovation through collaboration.
Learn more during these two DLDay webinars hosted by All4Ed and Future Ready Schools®.
Final DLDay Thoughts
And lastly, as we close out DLDay 2019 and look ahead to next year, remember these wise words from Heather, a personalized digital learning specialist for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina.
Happy #DLDay! Always remember that technology is just a tool. You shouldn’t design lessons around a specific tool. However, if a tool is used appropriately, it can take students to places they have never been before and truly transform learning! #cmspdl
— ᕼEᗩTᕼEᖇ ᕼᗩᗩᔕ (@CMS_HeatherH) February 28, 2019
To learn more about Digital Learning Day 2020, visit https://digitallearningday.org/sign-up-for-updates/.