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Digital Learning Day 2013: Join the Celebration! January 25, 2013

Posted by Jen Habley in Check this out!.
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By Sue Kowalski, Pine Grove Middle School Librarian, New York

To my school librarian peeps…

YOWZA!!!!  Information overload is alive and well!  Sometimes it’s OVERWHELMING!  You’ll often see something on Twitter or AASL Hotlinks or on a listserv, save it to Evernote, or like a post on Facebook and share it with colleagues… or possibly, something catches your eye and that’s as far as you get.  It happens, we’re human and we are busy doing what we know is in the best interest of our students and our programs.  But, sometimes we need a fresh angle, an innovative idea, or to be rejuvenated.

Jumping on to a campaign like Digital Learning Day (DLD) 2013 might be just what you need.  You are certainly using technology in a variety of ways already and you are surrounded by experts and inquiring minds of all ages.  Why not promote and celebrate what you are doing and connect to a national initiative in the process!  So, “let it go” and empower a team of your stakeholders to start a movement related to digital learning.  It doesn’t have to be coordinated by YOU.  Pass along the website, the resources, and the social media connections to a few teachers, a parent team, technology staff, and definitely your students.

At our school we are hosting a few events that are “forums” for students to showcase what they know and can do with technology to an audience of their peers and teachers.  They are kind of like an “open mike” event for technology.  We created a “Virtual Quest” to get kids thinking about technology concepts that rule our world.  We are doing this via Google Forms and a student will manage the scoring when the entries come in.  Technology tokens will be given to participants at our events for a chance to win prizes on February 6, 2013.  Prizes will include things like amazon gift cards, wireless mouse, earbuds, and “in house” BYOD gift certificates.

Other school libraries in our District have Virtual Library tours created by students; producing something like this could be a way to show your communities what your students can do AND what your program has to offer.  Get your student projects on the website and share your Wordles, your Voicethreads, and your Edmodo forums.

Whether you have a strong partnership with your public library or one that needs a boost, reach out and ask THEM provide the innovative leadership for this celebration.  We are working with a public library partner to host a “tech playground” of sorts at their library to promote the services that students and families can get from their public library related to e-books, online library services, and other tech services.  We will cosponsor the event, coordinate advertising, and use this as a starting point for all similar events at either our location or theirs.

We have developed a schedule of events and will continue to add to this as students find out what teachers are doing that would align with our campaign.  Certainly, invite stakeholders to join events. Take photos and videos for publicity, recognize leadership teams and volunteers, and share plans via social media outlets.  Take advantage of social media where appropriate in your communities to advertise, engage in conversations, or host contests.

The bottom line is this:  Your libraries are rich with innovative and effective uses of technology.  You are always looking for ways to showcase how your program impacts student achievement.  Being a part of Digital Learning Day is a perfect opportunity to tell the world how incredible you are!

Digital Learning Day is February 6, 2013.  Join the celebration!

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