E-books. Smart whiteboards. These are just a few of the resources that are utilized by educators these days. The first annual Digital Learning Day, a national campaign launched by the Alliance for Excellent Education, celebrated technology in the classroom with a virtual National Town Hall.
The Alliance of Excellent Education is a policy and advocacy group based in Washington D.C. The brainchild, Digital Learning Day, was a joint effort among teachers, students, organizations, companies, and government officials. Participants in the event shared how they’ve used technology as a collaborative tool in learning.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
Notable attendees of the event included Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
Rae Mugnolo, a representative of SMART Technologies, supports Digital Learning Day. SMART has the most comprehensive offering of any interactive whiteboard company and SMART encouraged the over 1.6 million teachers in K-12 classrooms who have implemented SMART Boards to showcase their current use of educational technology and resources such as SMART Board interactive whiteboards and the SMART Exchange, a place where teachers can quickly find relevant resources, share lesson material and exchange tips and success stories.
"SMART is a proud sponsor of Digital Learning Day. Digital Learning Day is a chance for teachers and administrators to try something new and plan more ways of integrating technology into future instruction. Digital Learning Day is about the teachers, teachers who are integrating a vast amount of information through effective instruction," said Mugnolo. "SMART knows the importance of providing solutions that allow teachers to personalize learning through differentiation, support cooperation and collaboration and create experiences that are often nonexistent without the use of technology. Digital Learning Day provides teachers an opportunity to showcase their use of these solutions."