Dorn Recognizes Value of Technology to K–12 Education
Second annual Digital Learning Day to be celebrated nationwide
OLYMPIA (February 6, 2013) — From scholarly research to video simulations for learning, educators across the country today will honor the important role of technology in K–12 education with Digital Learning Day.
Washington state will join in the celebration. State Superintendent Randy Dorn has been a long-time advocate for increased technology in schools. “Technology is a fundamental and necessary part of classroom life,” he said. “It’s not a treat. And it’s not just for some kids and not all. Technology is a basic building block of K–12 education today.”
Digital Learning Day recognizes that the shift to digital content for teaching and learning is now underway. To highlight that shift, a series of state and national events will occur to showcase technology integration programs in K–12 schools and districts.
As part of Washington state’s celebration of Digital Learning Day, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is sharing a video that tells the story of the “iMiller iPad Integration Project,” in which all 500 students at Miller Junior High in Aberdeen were issued an iPad in 2011 for classroom use. The video takes a look at the inner workings of the program and shows how this portable learning technology is affecting the teachers and students who use the iPads every day. The iMiller project is a complex program that touches every element of instruction, assessment, administration, school infrastructure, policy and family engagement.
Miller Junior High Principal Mark Decker believes that empowerment is one of the important by-products of technology integration. “In our classrooms, students can develop the skills that really maximize what technology can support — research, collaboration, communication, analysis and creativity,” he said. “We see this as a strong foundation for college and career readiness.”
At the highest level, Decker and his teaching team are determined to close the achievement gap, boost the school’s on-time graduation rate and raise the level of academic performance school wide. The district and school leadership team see the program as a way to energize teaching and learning, and support the use of data to guide instruction. They want to put the limitless capacity of technology into the hands of creative, resourceful teachers and eager young scholars.
Dorn visited Miller Junior High on Digital Learning Day in 2012 and was able to see the launch of the iPad integration program. At a special school assembly, Dorn encouraged the staff and students to maximize the benefit of this user-friendly learning device.
When learning goes digital, Dorn said, the classroom opens up. “Kids can connect with the best and latest learning resources and build important tech skills. Teachers add a whole new set of tools and practices for instruction. Technology makes learning possible anytime, anywhere.”
Digital Learning Day, founded by the Alliance for Excellent Education, began in 2012. The organization has said that 20,000 teachers from all 50 states will participate in the day’s events.
For more information
· Educational Technology at OSPI
· iMiller iPad Integration Project Video
· iMiller Project at Miller Junior High