By Cynthia Hobgood

Dec 1, 2011

Building upon a growing movement, the Alliance for Excellent Education and its partners are calling on teachers, schools, principals, community leaders, parents and students to participate in the first-ever national Digital Learning Day on February 1, 2012. Digital Learning Day will celebrate innovative teaching practices that make learning more personalized and engaging and encourage exploration of how digital learning can provide more students with more opportunities to get the skills they need to succeed in college, a career and life. America’s Promise Alliance is a core partner in the effort.

“The time has come to ensure that every child has access to the engaging experience that comes with powerful teaching and rigorous content available through digital learning,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, co-chair of Digital Learning Now!, and former governor of West Virginia. “The teachers are here, the technology is everywhere, and the students are ready and able. Now it’s time to put it all together.”

Digital learning is best described as teaching practices that effectively use technology to advance the teaching profession and strengthen the teacher and student interface. Such practices may include:

  • Using quality digital content to enhance a lesson, focusing on the quality of a teacher's time with students
  • Providing real life problems to solve with current tools to connect students more deeply to the content 
  • Individualizing instruction through formative assessment
  • Using data for school reform

“Digital learning erases the line between high tech or high teach,” said Gov. Wise. “To prepare all students for the global economy, the nation must have both—high tech and high teach. Digital learning gives teachers more opportunities to personalize education, utilize data and content more efficiently, and be more innovative in their teaching to ensure all students meet today’s challenging standards.”

Digital Learning Day is a culminating event in a year-round national awareness campaign to improve teaching and learning for all children. More resources and toolkits will be available soon, but on Digital Learning Day – teachers, librarians, school leaders, afterschool programs, community groups and parents are being asked  to do one of three things:

  • Start a conversation
  • Try one new thing
  • Showcase success

“Digital Learning Day is more than just a day,” said Gov. Wise. “It is about building a digital learning movement that provides teachers with better tools to truly provide a quality education for every child.”

On the day itself, the Alliance will host a nationwide, interactive town hall meeting to highlight promising practices. Digital Learning Day is not just for schools: learning takes place in many environments, so libraries, community or afterschool programs, and other groups along with parents and students are all invited. Sign up today, learn more, and join us for a celebration of innovation.

Initial support for Digital Learning Day comes from leading content and technology companies including Google, Intel Corporation, SMART Technologies, Epsilen, GlobalScholar, and Pearson Foundation. Additional partners in Digital Learning Day include Carnegie Corporation of New York and nearly twenty leading national organizations representing educators, leaders, and the best in thinking about educational technology and learning, as well as an advisory group of twenty-five educators.

The Alliance for Excellent Education, an America’s Promise partner, is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work and citizenship in the twenty-first century.