Thursday, January 31, 2013

February is Digital Learning Month

The 2011 Standards put a greater emphasis on the routine use of digital media at all levels. Below is an announcement from the Governor including a number of interesting events and activities that are happening this month. Enjoy exploring them and maybe involving your students.
The Patrick-Murray Administration has proclaimed February 2013 to be Digital Learning Month in recognition of the important role that digital technology can play in improving teaching and learning.

According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington, D.C.-based national policy and advocacy group headed by former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise, digital learning is "any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student's learning experience." During February, Massachusetts educators will have the opportunity to follow and participate in a number of local and national activities that are intended to promote awareness for digital learning and encourage the sharing of exemplary digital learning practices to inform state, district, and school leaders.

"Digital learning is playing an ever increasing role in our students' lives," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "When done right, the use of technology in schools will improve teaching and learning, make content more accessible, and ensure that all students are prepared for success beyond high school."

"Massachusetts is a national leader in the innovation economy, and digital learning has the potential to provide new ways to offer students personalized instruction and prepare them for college, career, and life," said Education Secretary Matthew Malone.

To help catalog and share exemplary digital learning practices, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is encouraging Massachusetts school leaders and educators to submit short videos or other digital media to the Alliance for Excellent Education. The Alliance is the sponsor of Digital Learning Day 2013, a national celebration on February 6 of successful instructional technology practice in classrooms nationwide. To submit a narrative or video, schools may visit the Alliance's website at

Among the activities happening in February 2013 are:

  • February 1-2: The "Across Boundaries: Innovation & the Future Education" conference sponsored by LearnLaunch and MIT will promote dialogue about the impact of digital learning on the future of K-20 education in the United States. The conference will bring together educators, entrepreneurs, and business community leaders to showcase the potential of new technologies to excite and engage students, and improve learning outcomes at every stage of the educational spectrum, from pre-K to postsecondary education, and ongoing workforce training.

  • February 6: The centerpiece of this year's national Digital Learning Day will be a Digital Town Hall that will be simulcast from the Newseum in Washington, D.C. To Town Hall will take place from 1 to 2 p.m.; to watch the event live, go to To learn more about how students, parents, educators, and others can participate in Digital Learning Day activities, go to

  • February 7: Nationally recognized experts will participate in a panel discussion on virtual and blended learning held at the Omni Parker House in Boston. The event sponsored by the Pioneer Institute will include local panelists Senator Will Brownsberger and Representative Marty Walz to discuss the implications of virtual schooling in the Commonwealth. For more information on the event, go to

  • February 19: The Museum of Science in Boston will host a workshop for teachers on the use of animation software. The software developed by Tufts University provides more flexible and creative ways to engage students in science, math, and engineering explorations.

To learn about additional local activities in February, visit the Department's Office of Digital Learning page at