The second annual Digital Learning Day is quickly approaching: Wednesday, February 6, 2013, is a great opportunity to explore the multitude of important ways in which technology can enhance education. Teachers, librarians, media specialists, and parents can celebrate digital learning by encouraging students to become comfortable and confident in activities ranging from conducting online research to creating book trailer videos.
More and more titles are being made available as school and library eBooks—take advantage! The current platforms and readers such as MackinVIA are user friendly and have features that enhance the reading experience for kids. Many titles have audio, so students can listen along while they read. MackinVIA’s reader features highlighting and note-taking capabilities, as well as the EasyBib citation maker. Note some of the new ebooks we offer along the right edge of this post!
Databases are collections of online or subscription information sources on a variety of topics. Mackin offers databases such as Rosen’s Digital Literacy, Capstone’s PebbleGo databases (Animals, Biographies, Earth and Space, and Social Studies), and ABDO Digital databases (Inside NFL, Inside MLB, The United States, and The United States Presidents). Databases may also be available free through your state or local department of education or library system.
Blogging and commenting on blogs
Blogs have become an important medium for conveying information and opinions, and many of us read them fairly often or even daily. Reading blogs with a critical mind, commenting on blog posts, and writing blog posts are great skills for students to learn. Thought-provoking blog posts and readers’ comments can evolve into insightful and opinionated discussions on topics both light and difficult, and it’s important that young people learn how to interact through this type of medium in a respectful way. Use a student-friendly website like Kidblog to get started.
Reading news articles
Where to get informational texts for students to read and think about critically…how about the news! News articles can model informational and argument writing, can launch great discussions, and will help students be more active citizens. Check out the New York Times’ Learning Network: Teaching & Learning With The New York Times—a blog about using the NYT with high school students that is jam packed with lesson plans quizzes, student opinion polls, and other great resources.
Skyping with friends far away
Skype in the Classroom features lessons and activities that unite classrooms from around the world via their face-to-face online communication technology. Students can practice a foreign language, learn about another culture, read to one another, or even play chess!
Texting in the classroom? When large-group discussions have to stay on the quiet side, or if you have students who don’t like to speak much in class, use TodaysMeet to start a texting discussion or to generate and answer questions. Create polls or quizzes using Socrative or PollEverywhere and let students answer the questions through texting. Students are going to come to school with their cell phones; there are ways to put them to good use!
There are many ways to infuse a classroom, library, or media center with technology. These are just a few ideas for enriching students’ learning with digital tools. Do you have any other favorite tech-in-school ideas?
Blogger: Lori C.