This is the first post in our blog series for Digital Learning Day on February 6. To read the second blog post written by a Delaware teacher about how she uses education technology to support personalized learning for her students, click here.
In just a few weeks, schools across the nation will be celebrating Digital Learning Day. Digital Learning Day – February 6, 2013 – is a “national campaign that celebrates teachers and shines a spotlight on successful instructional practice and effective use of technology in classrooms across the country.”
In anticipation of this event, we want to help support the dialogue here in Delaware. However, there are so many exciting initiatives going on in The First State that it’s difficult to capture in just one day, so today we are officially launching a blog series around digital learning and personalization that will include information and resources about Digital Learning Day – and more.
At the core of Digital Learning Day is a new vision for education: one in which the learning environment is personalized to meet each student’s unique needs. Many – including our Foundation – are referring to this as “personalized learning,” and over the last several months we’ve featured a few blogs on what’s going on here and elsewhere. We’re going to start sending out info about this topic more regularly, so sign up here to receive news and updates.
Personalization refers to putting the student at the center of the learning environment and tailoring instruction to students’ specific academic needs, personal interests and learning styles. It also enables students to learn at their own pace and often at a different time and place (in the evening at home through online lessons, for example). In order to do this well, teachers are empowered to concentrate their time and energy on individual student needs. And although the “stuff” (iPads, laptops, etc.) isn’t the most important part of this, personalizing learning also means using technology in new and innovative ways.
We know there are exciting things going on here in Delaware, and we want to help spread the word. Several of our iEducate Delaware 2012 finalists and winners were innovating in these ways. We want to share even more examples of what’s going on classrooms statewide. Share them as a comment on this blog or on our Facebook page (and definitely share them when we open nominations for iEducate Delaware 2013 this spring – be sure to stay tuned!).
Educators: the Delaware Department of Education is also hosting a professional development series the first week of February. And the national Digital Learning Day site has lots of great resources, including toolkits with ideas about how to innovate instruction in almost every subject area. Find more information here on how districts, schools, and individuals can participate in Digital Learning Day events.
In the coming weeks, we’ll feature guest bloggers with different perspectives on this topic and will share more resources and stories. If you want to get updates on an ongoing basis about what we’re learning about personalization, sign up here.