Engaging Families In Digital Learning Day
What is Digital Learning Day?
This year celebrated on February 5th. It is described on the Digital Learning Day website (www.digitallearningday.org) as a “nationwide celebration of innovative teachers and common-sense, effective applications of digital learning in America’s schools that support teachers, improve learning, and provide options for students to achieve at their highest potential.” (Their public service announcement - https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qUS6GfsYnc8)
Parents are a key piece of the partnership puzzle. They are needed to help push our school districts to embrace the use of technology. Because of that, they need to see the importance of the why and how it can be used. They also serve as role models to their children, so knowledge of how to use these tools safely and responsibly are key. And finally, learning together and having access to connect anytime, anywhere can do wonders to strengthen home-school relations, along with aiding in parent-child relations. For these reasons, we need to engage parents in these learning opportunities.
So how and where do parents fit into this day?
Myth: This event is for schools only.
Fact: Learning happens all day, every day of the year…inside and out of the school walls. The opportunity to use digital tools to enhance learning at home is no different.
- As a school/PTO:
- Offer tech training sessions for families led by students when possible
- Include families in a classroom activity (in person and live stream opportunities) to see how digital tools enhance the learning experience firsthand.
- As a parent:
- Ask your child what technology/websites/social media they use, not only at school, but socially. And then ask them to tell or teach you about it.
- Explore educational websites that inspire your student to adopt a mindset of inquiry such as www.wonderopolis.org
- Explore and create your own art online at http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/education/kids.html
- Think outside of the box and use problem solving skills coding using any one of the apps or sites listed here http://www.edutopia.org/blog/7-apps-teaching-children-coding-anna-adam?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=blog-7-apps-coding-image
- Encourage writing for fun by creating an eBook together by uploading your saved pdf file to a site such as www.flipsnack.com
- Start a family blog together
Myth: Expensive technology is needed to participate
Fact: Something as simple as a smart phone can be used to read an eBook together, or be used to join an educational chat on Twitter (an extensive list of chats can be found here: www.bit.ly/officialchatlist) …or possibly connect with the author of the eBook you read together, or another expert through social media.
What are you doing as a school/class to include and engage families on DLD? As a parent, how are you joining in on the day and celebrating at home?
This piece was originally submitted to our community forums by a reader. Due to audience interest, we’ve preserved it. The opinions expressed here are the writer’s own.