Digital Learning Day
Digital Learning Day (DLD) is right around the corner – February 6, 2013. It is a day in which schools are highlighted for their technological initiatives. Question is, though, what has transpired in your building since the last DLD (yes, there have been others)? On a grand scale, were you able to start an initiative that incorporated more technology into daily instruction for all students? Or, on a much smaller scale, were you able to start the conversation about how technology has the ability to transform learning for students, collaboration with staff or communication with your school community?
Answering either question can be a daunting task. In essence, what is your philosophical approach to digital learning and have you followed through on that approach so that others realize the benefit.
The idea of technology in education is not new. Plenty of infographics exist that illustrate the technological advances in education form the chalkboard to the iPad. Educators throughout history have grappled with the idea of how to incorporate technology in a meaningful ways. But, let’s be honest, change is difficult and educators are creatures of habit. Simply look at the yearly exercise of making a New Year’s resolution. Major ideas or initiatives are hatched but seldom followed through to the end.
Make February 6 a digital Resolution day. Find one aspect of your building that you can incorporate technology to enhance collaboration, communication or learning.
Here are a few examples of digital initiatives at Lakeview High School:
- Twitter and Facebook: accounts for the building have been created to better communicate with students, staff and parents.
- Google Drive (Google Apps): communicate and collaborate with various groups editing documents in real time through Google Docs. Within my NTI (New Teacher Induction) group, we utilized Google Docs to take meeting minutes. All minutes are created by all participants. The document can be edited in real time (by all) allowing for ideas and resources to transfer without delay. Each participant is responsible for the main idea, notes and resources x 15! I have also created a Google calendar that is placed on our webpage for stakeholders to see upcoming events. Lastly, I created a Google Form to tabulate our Walkthrough observation data.
- Edmodo: teachers utilize this platform to communicate and collaborate with students and parents. Assignments and quizzes can be posted to allow students access to information when needed – not just from a textbook.
I can name other instances of technological initiatives that have occurred this year but I believe in the power of three and short summaries. Analyze your organization and how it conducts business. Can you find instances where you can communicate better? Collaborate better? Learn better?
Make February 6 your digital Resolution day. Take the time between now and then to research what will work for your building, gather ideas from students, staff and parents and implement one idea.
Make the commitment and follow through. Your school community will be better because of your digital commitment.