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First-Ever National Digital Learning Day Attracts Participation from Thirty-Nine States, 15,000 Teachers, and 1.7 Million Students

February 1, 2012
Media Contact
Jason Amos
Phone: (202) 828-0828

National Town Hall on February 1 to Include Education Secretary Duncan, FCC Chairman Genachowski, and Teachers from Around the Country

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, thirty-nine states, 15,000 teachers, and 1.7 million students will participate in the first-ever national Digital Learning Day, a national awareness campaign spearheaded by the Alliance for Excellent Education showcasing how technology can take learning in the United States to a much higher level and provide all students with experiences that allow them to graduate from high school prepared for college and a career.

“Technology has made nearly everything in modern life more efficient, accessible, richer, and faster, yet students are frequently asked to check their smart phones, laptops, and other devices at the door when they enter a classroom,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “It is time we stop asking students to ‘power down’ when they go to school and instead to ‘power up’ and use their interest in technology as a new way to learn.”

The marquee event for Digital Learning Day is the virtual National Town Hall, featuring a joint announcement and roundtable discussion with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on transitioning K-12 schools to digital learning.

“We’re focused every day on the ways to harness technology and broadband to improve and expand educational opportunity for as many kids as possible,” said Genachowski. “With digital learning technologies, teachers, students, and parents can connect in new ways, tailoring lessons on an individualized basis to student interests and needs; students in multiple classrooms can connect with teachers and with each other, and heavy backpacks of outdated textbooks can be replaced by a digital learning device with constantly updating tools.”

The National Town Hall will feature live interaction with school sites around the country, profile teachers who effectively use technology to deliver instruction, and focus on successful education innovation projects that demonstrate how technology can be used in the classroom to improve student outcomes. Via Skype, the Town Hall will give voice to teachers, students, and leaders from Englewood Schools (CO); Mooresville Graded School District (NC); Klein Independent School District (TX); and New Tech West High School (OH), who will talk about how they are using technology in new ways to improve learning. (A complete list of featured teachers, schools, and districts is available at

“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 Duncan. “Technology can enable the high-quality teaching and learning that today’s students need to thrive as citizens, workers, and leaders in the digital age, and the globally competitive knowledge economy.”

Digital Learning Day celebrations will also be conducted within participating states, districts, and schools. Examples of activities include a proclamation from the state governor, a showcase of student work through digital learning, lesson plan contests for teachers, announcements of digital learning projects, and highlights of promising practices within and among states. To contact the person leading the Digital Learning Day event(s) in your state, visit

In addition to the National Town Hall, the Alliance will air programming celebrating innovative teachers and highlighting instructional practices that use technology to strengthen teaching and personalize learning for all students.

From 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (ET) on February 1, the Alliance will air an extensive, in-depth webcast demonstrating how digital learning is already being used in classrooms around the country at During the webcast, educators will share innovative approaches designed to ensure that students graduate from high school prepared for college and a career. A live chat feature will allow individuals interested in learning more about digital learning to engage in an online, real-time conversation with leaders in education technology. (A complete schedule, including the highlighted schools and educators is available at

“Digital Learning Day is not about technology for technology’s sake-simply slapping a netbook on top of a textbook will not move the education needle very much,” said Wise. “Instead, it’s about recognizing the great potential that effective technology has to transform the world of learning when combined with powerful teaching and rigorous content.”

From 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (ET), the Alliance will rebroadcast the morning webcast at Although the video content will be the same, the Alliance will conduct an entirely different live chat in the afternoon session to allow individuals who are interested in learning more about digital learning to engage in an online, real-time conversation with leaders in education technology.

Digital Learning Day has received support from

The thirty-nine states participating in Digital Learning Day on February 1 represent 88 percent of the nation’s students and include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Washington, DC has also signed up to participate. For contact information for the person leading the efforts in your state, visit


The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit

To learn more about Digital Learning Day, visit and follow the action at or with the #DLDay hashtag.