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Digital learning day extends beyond the classroom

Spend a day following the #edtech hashtag on Twitter and you’ll get a good sense for the impact and influence of technology in K12 schools—you also might start to feel a little, uh, dizzy.

There are a lot of technology options out there—and everybody who’s anybody wants you to believe they own the silver-bullet solution to student success. With so many choices, it’s hard to get a read on what really works.

Tomorrow, the Alliance for Excellent Education attempts to break through the clutter when it hosts the  5th annual Digital Learning Day. Through a combination of local and online presentations, this national networking event gives education leaders a chance to highlight innovative teachers and administrators and shine a light on technology-based best practices paying real dividends in their schools.

Organizers are quick to point out that the event is focused on effective learning, and how technology can support it, and not about technology itself.

The goal: to provide educators with access to quality content, create new forms of feedback, equip students for individualized instruction, and foster “opportunities for learning anytime and anywhere.”

Beyond the classroom
No question: a strategic use of technology, coupled with quality instruction, is a potential difference-maker in the classroom. But school leaders also increasingly recognize the many ways in which these innovations can impact other areas of the school experience.

New online and mobile apps make it possible for parents and community members to contribute to critical education decisions. Involving parents in their children’s education brings more resources to bear on the problems that schools and communities face. That collaboration is another key factor in narrowing the learning divide. So is working with students. As you consider new innovations for your classrooms, have you given any thought to what your students think?

Check out this video from last year’s Digital Learning Day, to see what Baltimore County Public Schools in Maryland did recently to improve student learning and student engagement.

If you have some time, consider sitting in on a few  of tomorrow’s online sessions. Or, host your own Digital Learning event at your school or in your district. It’s a great time to celebrate the progress you’ve made—and to decide where you plan to go from here.

How is technology being used to enhance learning in your schools? Tell us in the comments.

Looking to include parents and students in the conversation about school technology? Show them that you’re listening.