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Nationwide Digital Learning Day Kicks Off February 6

By guest blogger Mike Bock

The second Digital Learning Day, an event meant to tout the use of technology in education, is set to begin Wednesday, February 6. One of the headliners of the agenda is a "Digital Town Hall," a 90-minute discussion held in in Washington, D.C., where educators and technology advocates will promote ideas and best practices for technology and learning.

The event, which will be broadcast live online, will feature interactive demonstrations, educator-led discussions and talks from education leaders, including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Classrooms around the country will be holding events for the nationwide initiative, ranging from talks and workshops to efforts that aim to highlight creative ways educators have merged technology into their teaching methods.

For example, students at Brookfield High School in Brookfield, Conn. will lead parents through demonstrations on how technology can be used in classrooms, and kindergartners at Hawaii Stream Academy in Honolulu will help their teacher design an app that shows the alphabet. An interactive map of schools that are participating in Digital Learning Day can be found here.

The event is being organized by the Washington-based Alliance for Excellent Education, a nonprofit education group run by Bob Wise, the former governor of West Virginia. In the spirit of online learning, you can follow along with the #DLDay Twitter hashtag, or find out more information on the Digital Learning Day Facebook page.

A new PBSLearningMedia survey, released to coincide with Digtial Learning Day, shows suggests that teachers are enthusiastic about using technology in the classroom.

The survey found that nearly half of teachers surveyed reported using technology for online lesson plans, and that "65 percent of teachers reported that technology allows them to demonstrate something they cannot show in any other way."

In addition, the survey said 90 percent of teachers have access to at least one PC or laptop for their classrooms, and 59 percent of teachers have access to an interactive whiteboard. In addition, 35 percent of teachers surveyed said they have access to a tablet or e-reader in their classroom, up from 20 percent a year ago.

However, the same survey found that 68 percent of teachers—and 75 percent of teachers in low-income schools—said they wanted to see more technology in the classroom.

Liana Heitin of Education Week Teacher took a more detailed look at the survey, which you can read here.

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