Virtual School Meanderings

January 26, 2013

12 Days and Counting! Open This Email and Find Original Digital Learning Day Lesson Plans to Use on February 6 and Beyond!!

Also from yesterday’s inbox…

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Digital Learning Day - Engaging Students. Celebrating Teachers. Creating Better Schools.

Digital Learning: Lessons in Action
To help educators plan for their local Digital Learning Day activities and events, the Alliance for Excellent Education is pleased to offer Digital Learning: Lessons in Action. As a participant of Digital Learning Day you can access ten to twelve detailed lesson plans. Lessons incorporate multiple strategies with digital learning, such as collaboration, personalized learning, project-based learning, flipped classrooms, virtual access to experts, e-portfolios, bring your own device (BYOD), simulations, and real-time assessments. Find out how digital learning engages students in blogging, astronomy, propaganda, and comic strips.

Tens of thousands of educators will tailor these lessons for use in their classrooms on Digital Learning Day and beyond. Try a lesson now!

Virtual Quest
In celebration of Digital Learning Day, the Pine Grove Middle School Library (East Syracuse, NY) invites staff and students to participate in their Digital Learning Day Virtual Quest Contest from January 17 through February 5, 2013. Pine Grove Library will also celebrate through other events, including:

  • Gamers Unite: Play or learn about Minecraft; Magic: The Gathering; Wii; and other games on personal hand-held devices.
  • Tech Smackdowns: Bring your own device and share your expertise with the group.
  • Tech Freebies: Bring your own device and learn how to download music, books, and other cool stuff for FREE! Families welcome! Light refreshments will be served.

Alaska’s Digital Stories
The Alaska Department of Education is sharing digital stories in their state. Teachers, students, and community members are creating two-minute videos to share stories about what it’s like to be a teacher in Alaska. All videos are uploaded to SchoolTube and shared in Alaska’s Digital Sandbox. For more information, contact Roxanne Mourant at

Local Events and Celebrations Are Popping Up Everywhere!
With more than 19,000 educators signed up to participate, it’s hard to share the all the creative ideas, but click here to see how others will celebrate Digital Learning Day. Let us know what you are doing, and please spread the word by encouraging your colleagues sign up.

In the latest edition of “Teaching Ahead: A Roundtable,” the Center for Teaching Quality and Education Week team up to promote Digital Learning Day and hear from tech savvy teachers. Here’s a snippet:

On February 6, thousands of educators, students, and schools across the country will celebrate Digital Learning Day, an initiative created by the Alliance for Excellent Education to help teachers highlight and share innovative uses of classroom technology. Most educators agree that integrating “technology for technology’s sake” is not good practice, but many see transformative potential in new learning tools. What kind of successes have you seen with technology in the classroom? What strategies work best to help teachers to share their technological expertise with colleagues? What can school leaders, policymakers, and teacher preparation programs do to increase teachers’ familiarity and skills with technology? What other ideas do you have for minimizing the gap between new technologies and classroom teachers? Read more.

See what educators are talking about in the Alliance’s digital learning blog posts. Would you like to be a guest blogger? If so, contact Rachel Jones.

Digital Learning Day is building momentum with positive messages, resources, and materials. Help spread the word about the power of digital learning and encourage your district, schools, teachers, parents, students, colleagues, and friends to join the wave of innovation sweeping through the nation; the more the merrier! We need you to help build the groundswell support of teacher participation. Send the sample email below to all your colleagues and friends!

Just Announced! Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park have joined the national Digital Learning Day celebration.

Join the second annual Digital Learning Day—a national campaign that celebrates educators and the potential of technology in education—on February 6, 2013. Sign up TODAY to join tens of thousands of educators in a wave of innovation sweeping across the nation’s schools! Participation is completely free and will never be subscription based. It is open to all interested education leaders (teachers, librarians, principals, district trainers, community leaders, etc.). This is a great opportunity to highlight and expand your efforts in using technology in the classroom to improve student outcomes!

As a registered participant of Digital Learning Day, you’ll receive tips and toolkits that you can use on Digital Learning Day and beyond. The Alliance will soon be posting interactive K–12 interactive lesson plans in math, science, language arts, civics, and digital literacy for your use—all free of charge! These lessons will help you can collaborate with other educators across the nation in this massive celebration highlighting the potential of digital learning.

As part of your local Digital Learning Day activities on February 6, please mark your calendar to watch the second annual Digital Town Hall, being simulcast live from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (ET) as part of the national Digital Learning Day celebration.

FREE Webinar Jan 29: Findings from NASBE’s Technology Study Group
Please join the Alliance for Excellent Education on Tuesday, January 29, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (ET), for a webinar that will highlight the findings of the National Association of State Boards of Education’s (NASBE’s) Technology Study Group report, Born in Another Time: Ensuring Educational Technology Meets the Needs of Students Today—and Tomorrow. Elizabeth Ross of NASBE will provide an overview of the Technology Study Group’s goals and activities. Donna Johnson from the Delaware State Board of Education will highlight the group’s findings and provide the perspective of a committee member about how to advance this in states. Bob Wise of the Alliance will moderate the discussion and panelists will address questions submitted by viewers from across the country during this timely webinar just one week before the second annual Digital Learning Day. Register and submit questions for the webinar.

FREE Webinar Jan 31: Countdown to Digital Learning Day
Please join the Alliance for Excellent Education on Thursday, January 31, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (ET), for a webinar that will provide a sneak peak at big announcements taking place on Digital Learning Day, February 6, 2013. Bob Wise of the Alliance will talk about the importance of participating in Digital Learning Day and the forces that will shape the next decade of education. Noelle Ellerson from the American Association of School Administrators will highlight why digital learning is so important for school districts and why every district leader should take heed, and Jim Kohlmoos will talk about the role of state leadership. Panelists will also address questions submitted by viewers from across the country. Register and submit questions for the webinar.

Plan to Watch the Feb 6 Digital Town Hall Live Simulcast
Digital Learning Day’s Digital Town Hall will be simulcast live on Wednesday, February 6, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (ET). This high-profile broadcast will feature and celebrate dignitaries, policymakers, and education leaders. Educators who tune in will see promising practices in digital learning from across the country and be provided with an energetic program to help make the case for effective use of technology in education. Polling with mobile devices will be used to capture live impressions from viewers.

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©Copyright 2012. Alliance for Excellent Education

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