Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wheat Grass, Poetry Gallery Walk, Makerspace, Passion Projects....And A Whole Lot More For "Digital Learning Day" On February 6th!

In less than a month, on February 6th, 2013, we will be celebrating Digital Learning Day!  

As you can see...Digital Learning in schools has a lot of different characteristics.  These need to be lifted up and celebrated.....What better day than Digital Learning Day!  

On February 6th, we all have the opportunity to do this through getting involved, getting our school community involved, and thinking of a whole lot of amazing activities and events for this special day.   
I have started brainstorming and planning Digital Learning Day (Week) at Van Meter. I have scheduled an author visit or two and for us to Skype with other young people around the world.  Our friends at Mackin Educational Resources, Rosen Publishing, BiblioNasium, StarWalk Kids Media, Symbaloo, and others are going to stop in and share with us too.  
I have spoke to teachers, students, and parents about this day.  Everyone is very excited and having a wonderful time collaborating.  It is fun to think of so many new ideas.  

In 4th grade we are planning a "Poetry Gallery Walk", integrating writing, speaking, listening, art, music, and technology.  You can see more of our plans in the photos above.  

The 5th graders are going to create a clay whistle in art.  They will then create Caribbean type music to play with their whistles using electronic keyboards, Garage Band, and other online tools.  We will take the music they produce and use it in a digital product of their choice.  

Students throughout the elementary will be using Camtasia Relay to create book and technology talks using our eBooks within MackinVIA, online resources, and highlighting projects they are creating with Web 2.0 tools.  QR codes connected to these projects will be created by the students and placed around the school and on the "Digital Learning Day Symbaloo" that we have created.  
The 6th and 8th grade Technology classes are working with their teachers, classmates and myself to create their "Technology Passion Project."  We are going to start these next week.  
In the elementary gym classes,  Bart Jones integrates technology and innovative ideas into the curriculum.  Today he came to me with the idea of creating ComicLife's with the kindergarten, first and second graders demonstrating a skill they were working on in PE.  He saw this idea on Twitter. We would simplify it for the little ones.  What a great way to integrate technology into physical education and also show and teach others what they have learned.  
And of course don't forget the reading that will be taking place within the library and throughout the school on Digital Learning Day.  Our students have access to over 700 eBooks and several databases within MackinVIA.  They will be able to read these eBooks on a variety of devices during the day and even create digital projects such as Diamante Poems and Digital Postcards from the interactive eBooks from Rosen.
These projects and others will be highlighted on Edmodo, KidBlog, and by students, teachers, and myself on Twitter using #DLDay and @DLDay2013. 
Yesterday after school I met with my friend Michele Beschen, who is a parent and member of our community.  She also has a wonderful show called b-organic and is filled with so many ideas.....I knew she would be the perfect person for me to collaborate and plan a really great day with.  I don't want to say too much yet but lets just say get ready for designing, tearing apart, researching, creating, repurposing books and technology from our library....

and what......Wheat Grass Shots?!?!?!  

What does that have to do with Digital Learning Day?  :) 

You will just have to join us in our "Digital Learning Day Makerspace" in the secondary and elementary libraries to find out.  
I am also going to offer workshops for parents before and after school on using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, iPad apps, gaming, and other technology.  I will be using the CyberSmarts eBook series from Rosen Publishing and other eBooks within MackinVIA during these workshops and throughout the day.  

By the way, don't forget to check out the Digital Learning Day Facebook page and
Digital Learning Day Twitter @DLDay2013 to connect with others celebrating, to share, and to get involved.
I almost forgot....speaking about GAMING....We are going to start our Minecraft Club and also have a little xBox challenge going on too.
In Washington, D.C., they are going to be celebrating with special activities throughout the day.  One activity we can all be a part of is the Digital Town Hall which is showcasing excellence in digital learning within schools.  My friend Tom Murray, Director of Technology at Quakerstown in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, will be at the Town Hall Meeting and is one of the schools being honored and highlighted during this wonderful event.  You can register for the event here.  It is from 1:00-2:30 EST.
To end the day, our #SWVBC (Somewhat Virtual Book Club) will be meeting and discussing Unwind by Neal Shusterman.   We are a virtual book club for the young adults and librarians within eight different schools across the United States.  The #SWVBC meets once a month online and through Facebook and Twitter the rest of the month.  I am so excited we are going to connect on Digital Learning Day too.
You can sign up to take a part in Digital Learning Day on the "Participate" page.  Once you are at that page, just pick what category you fall under to see how we all can get involved.
So just as this says......Lets Spread The World About Digital Learning Day!  

Together we can all make a difference.....and have a whole lot of fun showing how digital learning can too.

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