Thousands of educators and students across the country demonstrated how technology can improve student learning as part of the sixth annual national Digital Learning Day on February 23, 2017.

Digital Learning Day (DLDay) provides a powerful venue for education leaders to highlight great teaching practice and showcase innovative teachers, leaders, and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes. DLDay is not just about technology, it’s about learning and enhancing the role of the teacher in America’s classrooms.

This year, nearly 2,000 local celebrations decorated the Digital Learning Day map, providing a window into how education technology is incorporated into daily student learning. Students collaborated on projects, engaged with each other and their devices to solve problems, invented songs and videos, and discovered new worlds and communities all within the walls of their classrooms.

Click on the map above to view details on local Digital Learning Day events.

Click on the map above to view details on local Digital Learning Day events.

If you missed out on the DLDay action, fear not, Twitter was ablaze with photos and videos of students in action. We’ve highlighted several activities on the @OfficialDLDay Twitter feed. You can also check out the Storify below to get a glimpse of DLDay highlights and check out #DLDay on Twitter.

As part of the DLDay celebrations, the Alliance hosted a webinar on the value of a connected classroom, providing important and practical information for superintendents, principals, and teachers. During the webinar, panelists discussed the challenges and solutions to building out a school district’s technology infrastructure to provide high-speed internet connections, including how to take advantage of the federal Lifeline and E-rate programs.

Christian Johnson, a fifth-grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary School in Maryland, explained that access to the internet is “the only way to level the playing field” for students. “The internet is as vital as having running water in your home,” said Johnson.

But access is not enough unless it is accompanied by a plan. Harrison Goodwin, EdD, superintendent of Chesterfield County Schools, a rural South Carolina district, discussed the importance of having a strategic plan for technology in place during the broadcast. “Technology is another tool we must master and then use to enhance instruction,” he said.

In the webinar, Alliance President and former Governor of West Virginia Bob Wise shared some thoughts on the digital learning landscape in schools.

“When the Alliance started Digital Learning Day in 2012, the idea of technology in the classroom was just beginning to gain ground. While there were a handful of digital innovators in many schools and districts, there were far more that asked students to check their devices at the classroom door or power them down when they got to their seats,” said Wise.

“Today, the situation is reversed. Increasingly, the norm for schools is to provide students with devices and explore ways to power up and personalize student learning,” said Wise. “Although we celebrate Digital Learning Day, we want every day to be a digital learning day for our nation’s students.”

Watch the webinar video below.

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