Virtual School Meanderings

January 10, 2014

Take the Pledge to Support Digital Learning and Weekly Tips

More from the neo-liberals, this time from today’s inbox…

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Add Your Event

We want to know how you plan to celebrate Digital Learning Day. Whether it’s trying a new lesson, creating a video, or hosting a showcase, we want to know. Add your dot to our map TODAY to win a prize from our swag shop!

Digital Learning Day Swag Shop

Visit the Digital Learning Day Swag Shop! As you explore, you will see that we have selected some items that you can order to enhance your local event and activities. You will see there are old classics and some new favorites, all featuring the Digital Learning Day Logo. Examples include drawstring bags, drinkware, and other promotional items

Make Your Plans TODAY!

1. Excite today’s students by ‘speaking their language’ and incorporating interactive lessons and digital tools into class instruction
2. Get colleagues involved by showing how technology helps students stay engaged and learn more
3. Make parents happy by teaching their children applicable skills that produce real results
4. Help your school become a premiere place for meaningful education

Make A Difference

We are also very pleased to announce our “Make a Difference with Digital Learning” campaign.  If you  haven’t done so, please take a minute to Take the Pledge yourself and spread the word through email, facebook, twitter and other social networks urging support for this important movement. If each of you recruit only 5 people today, we would have more than 100,000 by the weekend!

We are also very excited about the upcoming Digital Learning Day and can’t wait to see what you are planning. No matter how big or small, your activity matters!  Please make sure to add your event to our map today.  If you missed it, please tune into the Digital Learning Day Planning Workshop that we did yesterday about planning a local event. We will have another gathering via google hangout on Thursday January 2, 2014 at 2 pm ET to talk about your plans for the big day.

Introducing the Weekly Summary of the Tip of the Day!

Each year, as we ramp up to Digital Learning Day, the Alliance provides a Tip of the Day. Tips include links to digital tools, resources, videos and exciting events happening on Digital Learning Day. Check out this week’s tips!

1/10/14 – Free Classroom Guides from Edutopia
Sometimes when you’re sorting through all of the educational resources on the internet it’s hard to tell what resources can prove to be truly valuable. With that in mind, we are excited to share with you a set of great Classroom Guides available for free through Edutopia, one of Digital Learning Day’s Core Partners! From tips for the classroom to resource guides, Edutopia’s collection of materials has something for everyone – many of the guides are even available in Spanish! Check out some of these highlights:

1/9/14 – Add Your DLD Celebration to our Interactive Event Map!
In preparation for this year’s Digital Learning Day, we’ve added a great new Interactive Event Map to the Digital Learning Day website! The map lets you look at all of the celebrations that will be taking place across the country on Digital Learning Day, as well as sort through the events to find those that will be taking place nearest you.
Add your DLD plans to the event map today! It’s incredibly easy to fill out our event form; whether it’s trying a new lesson, creating a video, or hosting a showcase, we want to know. The best submissions may even be featured in an upcoming DLD blog post, showcase, or newsletter!

1/8/14 – Graphite, by Common Sense Media
Graphite is an invaluable free website designed to help preK-12 instructors find the best instructional software available for any classroom. Provided by the non-profit Common Sense Media, Graphite allows users to rate and share apps, websites, games, and other instructional tools, and also features a great search function to help educators find the tools they need at the click of a button! According to Graphite’s “About Us” section, Graphite is “working to help you cut through the clutter of websites, games, and apps that might be great for you and your students, if only you had the time to discover and evaluate them… We hope you’ll find new digital tools to use in your classroom and share them with colleagues and students.” Check it out!

1/7/14 – ­Educator Innovator – A Growing Online Community
In schools and universities, libraries and museums, community-based programs and online communities, innovative educators are creating new learning environments and shaping new practices that respond to learners’ interests and take advantage of the affordances of a digital age. Their interests are diverse, but together they share a common passion for igniting the creative and engaged learner in all of us.

Educator Innovator, powered by the National Writing Project, provides an online “meet up” for educators who are re-imagining learning. Educator Innovator is both a blog and a growing community of educators, partners, and supporters. As a network of networks, Educator Innovator gathers together like-minded colleagues and organizations whose interests and spirit exemplify Connected Learning: an approach that sees learning as interest-driven, peer supported, and oriented toward powerful outcomes. Educator Innovator and its partners support learning opportunities for teachers, youth workers, mentors, librarians, and museum educators that are open, re-mixable, and typically free or low-cost — and that share the goal of more powerful and connected learning for youth.

1/6/14 – Digital Arts & Media Toolkit
Research has shown again and again that arts education is closely linked to emotional development, social development, academic achievement, and civic engagement. Technological advancements are creating new ways of producing art and music all the time, and it is important that we recognize the importance of these creative outlets in the development of children. In the 21st century economy, aesthetics and creativity are becoming more and more important, and so we must recognize that art and music play and will continue to play a significant role in our children’s education. Check out our great new Digital Arts & Media toolkit! Here is a snippet:

MusicShake Edu. MusicShake is a free digital music creation website. Designed as a user-friendly “No-Brainer Musician Project,” even users who know little or nothing about music can produce their own pieces, including producing their own drum and instrumental parts either from scratch or by selecting preexisting parts from the website’s cache. Can be used for a variety of genres.

ComicMaster. One of the better interactive comic creation websites available through the internet, ComicMaster allows users to choose page layouts, backgrounds, characters, props, and create speech and thought bubbles for characters.

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