Today marks the first-ever Digital Learning Day (DLD), a day to celebrate outstanding teachers who leverage technology in the classroom to increase student learning opportunities in the 21st century. Governors, education chiefs, lawmakers, and policymakers across the nation look to DLD as game-changing reform for student-centered and competency-based learning.

“A quality education can change a life, and digital learning has the power to ensure each and every student in America has access to a high quality education that prepares them for a lifetime of success,” said former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, chair of the Foundation for Excellence in Education and co-chair of Digital Learning Now!. “Digital learning is the catalyst for transforming education. It provides teachers with the tools to customize instruction with precision, and it allows students to earn credit for what they learn rather than how much time they spend in the classroom.  These interactive and adaptive learning technologies can ensure that every student advances to the next level when they have mastered the necessary skills and material, not just when the school year ends.”

Today’s technology makes customized and personalized learning possible and now states need the policies to make it happen. Digital Learning Now! outlines guidelines for new policies in its 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning and Roadmap for Reform. The Foundation for Excellence in Education reports that state leaders must act today to transform education in order to bring students success in college and careers.

Across the country, 39 states, 16,000 teachers, and nearly 2 million students plan to join the National Town Hall meeting live at 1 p.m. EST. Speakers will include U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski; former governor and president of the Alliance for Excellent Education Bob Wise; and Emmy Award-sinning journalist Leon Harris.

In light of Digital Learning Day, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) highlights today its edpolicy reforms needed to provide students access to the tools and technology for college and career success in the 21st century.

“By embracing the transformative power and promise of online learning, kids everywhere can have access to the best teachers, engaging content and mastery-based learning opportunities.  With new learning models, we can overcome achievement gaps, level the playing field and ensure America’s kids rise to meet the demands of a world that is increasingly globally-competitive,” said Susan Patrick, president and CEO of iNACOL.

Susan Patrick reports that edpolicies must include:

  • Increased access to high-quality digital content in online or blended environments
  • Removal of seat-time requirements to competency-based standards
  • Provision of sustainable funding for online and blended learning, and
  • Implementation of new assessment models that measure real student growth.

The NEA Foundation also invites educators share their ideas about game-based learning on Digital Learning Day through March 5, 2012. Up to 10 ideas will receive $1,000 cash awards. Register for the challenge.

In addition, Utah shares its Digital Learning Day video showcasing how its Legislature is working to implement the power of digital learning:

Follow the Digital Learning Day buzz on Twitter with the hashtags #DLDay, #DigLN and the account @DLDay2012. At digitallearningday.org, you can also join the discussion with other educators in a chat.

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