Digital Learning (Every) DayJanuary 31, 2012
For a couple hundred thousand kids across the U.S. , February 1 will be like a combination of Thanksgiving and Fourth of July.
February 1 is Digital Learning Day, promoted as a celebratory call to action focusing on the transformative role technology may finally be beginning to play in American education.
But for an estimated 250,000 virtual school students – let’s call them the E-school Generation – Digital Learning Day is a just-in-time national acknowledgement of school as they know it, now.
These kids are very much looking forward to hearing cheers (instead of “Huh?”) when people hear about their schools.
Sure, most Americans can envision computers mixed in with the desks and bulletin boards in classrooms, and we instinctively get it when we hear about children with special needs responding to iPads. But kindergartners doing circle time every morning via web conference? A fifth grader working on math all day from home while his high school sister studies Mandarin with a native speaker a thousand miles away? Teachers who may only see their students on field trips but feel they know them better than the kids who used to sit in front of them every day? Could that really be school? Could it be any good?
To which the E-school Generation answers: Yes. And yes!
For them, Digital Learning Day affirms what they like best about school:
A school day that begins when you’re ready to learn? Check
Personalized lessons tailored just for you? Check.
Working in a team with students all over the country? Check.
Learning at your own speed, with no limits on how far or fast you can go? Check, check, check.
After a decade exploring the frontier of school as we know it, the E-school Generation is happy that the rest of education is starting to catch up and in the mood to celebrate Digital Learning (Every) Day.