Friday, January 17, 2014

Prepping for February 5th, 2014 - Celebrating Digital Learning Day in Connecticut @FairfieldU @OfficialDLDay

For those of us who work in digital platforms (personally and/or professionally), it is sometimes worthwhile to reflect on the power of online tools. As I noted with my students in a first-year English class this afternoon, "Operating on social media has become as natural as breathing. That is why I am reluctant, at times, to process exactly how I am doing it and what it is I'm actually trying to do."

Want better testimony than I can offer? Check out a student's perspective or one from a teacher.

Digital storytelling, blogging, tweeting, working with Facebook, etc. and learning from brilliant colleagues across the State of Connecticut and beyond have become par for the course. It's what I do and, perhaps, it is why I love February 5th as a location to process the importance of Digital Learning in my life. I'm aging, can't keep up, but still love the possibilities born each and every day through online environments. I jumped into the technological sprint a while ago and although my pace is slower than ever, I still love running to catch the moving cheetah! I will keep up! I will keep up!

Found Art in Donnarumma: Countdown to DLD
The Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University is currently collaborating with many projects on campus and in schools to promote the power of digital tools in the classroom. Besides regularly posting on Digital Is, we will continue to advocate for the power of digital stories on January 31st at the Martin Luther King Youth Leadership Academy hosted on our campus by Upward Bound. 150 youth will explore the power of words and communicating them to others in the Writing Our Lives tradition. Digital composing is definitely a part of the agenda.

Additionally, ongoing professional development continues in New Haven through a Supporting Effective Educator Development grant from the National Writing Project. One of the goals is school wide digital story composing and the foundation has been laid. Digital Learning Day in February will be more like Digital Learning Month as 42 teachers grow more comfortable with showcasing their written work through images, soundtracks, and storyboarding. Stay tuned on this one: there's much much more to come.

Yes, it's time to spread the word about Digital Learning Day:
Help make a difference in the future of education by joining digital thinkers (teachers, writers, students, academics, and human beings) this February 5th for Digital Learning Day!In today's interconnected world, the way students learn is increasingly reliant on digital technologies, but this doesn't just mean having the newest resources and gadgets. Instead, it means fully integrating digital learning throughout the entire educational experience. 
In order to fully prepare youth for success in college and beyond, schools and libraries across the United States (heck, around the world) need to embrace digital learning. We can't prepare every child for the digital future without the support of a digital foundation in the work we do. Help build the wave of innovation this February 5th by ensuring every child has the opportunity to learn in an innovative, digital environment. 
The first step, indeed, is to visit the official Digital Learning Day website. That's where the movement began for me (see Digital Learning Day 2013 - my digital reflection from last year). In Connecticut, I'm not alone. Multiple teachers and educational facilities are doing excellent work with technology, but for now I highlight a few:
  • For excellent examples of blending the teaching profession, blogging, and creativity, visit Colette Bennett's UsedBooksinClass, CWP Fairfield Summer Fellow, 2012, the Team Silver site of Kathy Silver in Bridgeport and The Write Space hosted by CWP-Storrs Director, Jason Courtmanche,
  • For a collaborative project between Shaun Mitchell, 2011 Summer Fellow, and our young writers from 2013, visit Textual, Textured, and Tech-tual Lineages at Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield
  • For inspiring work of my Connecticut colleagues, Ian O'Byrne at the University of New Haven and Greg McVerry at Southern Connecticut State University, check out #walkmyworld at Digitally Literate and INTERTEXTrEVOLUTION (there work is so cool!)
Today was my first day back (to teaching) at Fairfield University and when I returned home to reflect on how it went, I had to laugh. What did we do in class today? We wrote poetry and went over the groundwork for creating a blog in the course for weekly composing. 

That's the way the fingertips tap-dance across the keyboard and that is why I'm delighted to promote Digital Learning Day, 2014 (this time, two weeks in advance!)

We are the 21st century! Spread the word.


  1. Rock on. You have a lot of great resources here and have built such a great support network.
    Take care, man.

  2. Thanks for the mention...I am already planning activities for that week including a "how to make a digital writing prompt" on Google forms as preparation for the Smarter Balanced Assessments. Stay tuned!