Is it Time to Evaluate Your Digital Learning Practices?

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Classroom Application
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This year is the 10th annual celebration of Digital Learning Day. On February 25, educators will participate in an online celebration of ideas, stories, and promising practices related to incorporating digital learning into everyday instruction in schools. Using #DLDay and #DLDay2021 on Twitter and Instagram, educators collaborate and share new ideas, tools, and strategies for extending knowledge through digital resources. 

There are a couple of ways to participate in Digital Learning Day. Begin by following the conversation and participating on social media by asking questions and sharing your ideas using one of the hashtags. Another way is to register on the official Digital Learning Day website to add your event to the event map and learn from others who have shared their ideas and events. 

Celebrating Digital Learning Day provides excitement and motivation to learn about digital products and practices to incorporate throughout the year, making it an excellent time for self-evaluation. Here are some questions and ideas to get you thinking about your next digital steps:

  • What do your students create digitally? Do they make ebooks, videos, computer programs, digital timelines, or interactive maps? If you need ideas for free resources for digital creation, the TeachersFirst Edge features reviews of more than 800 tools, including classroom use ideas, suggestions for safety and policy concerns, ease of use labels, and other helpful tips to keep in mind. These ideas are all sorted into categories, making it easy to find just the right resource for any purpose.
  • Talk to your students. What do they enjoy doing digitally, and how can you incorporate that into your current lessons? Dig deeper using Microsoft or Google Forms (reviewed here) to collect and analyze responses. 
  • Once you have student responses, use that information to support and encourage students to set digital learning goals. Find a new tool for organizing or curating ideas, discover a resource to create study guides, or help them start on a journey to learn how to code or make videos.
  • Think about digital tools you have heard about but haven’t tried. Are you using Flipgrid (reviewed here), Wakelet (reviewed here), or PearDeck (reviewed here)? These three tools are very popular with many educators and offer great flexibility of use across grade levels and content areas.
  • What are some trends in digital learning that you would like to explore further? Online educator discussions often share ideas for teaching with Jamboards (reviewed here), tips for remote learning through Zoom (reviewed here), and Microsoft Teams (don’t miss our archived OK2Ask session, “Microsoft Teams Basics and Best Practices for Use in Remote Learning”). 
  • Are you up to date on the latest frameworks for successfully incorporating digital tools into the classroom? Learn about the Triple E Framework with this archived OK2Ask session or this blog post by Dr. Ruth Okoye.  
  • What do you know about virtual reality and augmented reality? One easy way to step into one of these worlds is through the use of Merge Cubes. These inexpensive cubes use your phone’s camera to transform scenes and images into 3D. Learn more about these fascinating devices in Melissa Henning’s TeachersFirst blog post

After taking the time to evaluate your digital learning practices, the next step is to set achievable goals. Think about using a digital tool you currently work with in a new and different way, find a new resource to add to your learning toolkit, or discover other educators or groups to add to your personal learning network on social media. 

You don’t have to be a digital expert to celebrate and participate in Digital Learning Day. Take advantage of this occasion to reflect upon your current practices and set goals to broaden your knowledge and use of digital tools.

Do you have suggestions for new digital tools that work well in the classroom? Perhaps you have an idea that extends learning using digital resources? We would love to hear your thoughts and views on Digital Learning Day in the comments below.

About the author: Sharon Hall

Sharon Hall was a recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math teaching. With over 15 years of classroom experience as a National Board Certified teacher, Sharon shares her content knowledge and reflections on ideas for basic classroom technology integration with us.

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