I missed Digital Learning Day this year. I really meant to do something about it either with my students and/or the Morehead Writing Project, but life got in the way. This is one of the reasons I often have trouble with digital events that happen in real time. I can’t help feeling that there was too much hype about the “thing” and not enough focus on the learning. Maybe I just don’t respond well to peer pressure. Maybe that is why I didn’t make #DLDay more of a priority.
Or maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. I don’t teach on Fridays and as today was the kick-off of Spring Break at Morehead State University I am not sure how much attention I could realistically expect from students who will most likely not think about my classes again for 10 more days. While I might have been able to rally the Morehead Writing Project troops we have experienced a really rough month with two (or more?) winter storms that effectively shut down the state and are still experiencing flooding as the snow and ice melt followed by heavy rains. I know most classroom teachers are just trying to get both themselves and their students back into the flow. Honestly, this is where my priorities and energies were this week. I thought about Digital Learning Day throughout the week, but just couldn’t summon the energy or interest to make it a priority.
I know #DLDay is more about raising awareness among educators and the general public than it is about creating a snazzy digital learning event and I believe strongly in the power of digital learning. So I am not going to feel guilty about not participating or pushing it on the educators with which I work because for me every day is Digital Learning Day – and I walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
Even when I am teaching a traditional face-to-face class I harness the power of digital learning to support my students. In addition, I push them to use digital tools to discover and to share lessons with their classmates, with our intended audience (for our service-learning projects), and with the world. We use social media, we blog, we curate, and we publish original content.
And the Morehead Writing Project consistently challenges our educators to embrace digital learning, both for themselves by creating Personal Learning Networks and for their students. We also share our lessons and our writing and our events through a variety of digital forms. Our National Day on Writing celebration always includes a digital component and we have held an Online Summer Institute in addition to our traditional Invitational Summer Institute for several years now.
Finally, there are very few days when I am not on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ as well as Pinterest, ScoopIt, Tumbler, etc. finding and sharing inspiring and/or interesting resources and reflections about education, teaching, technology, and writing in some combination. So, to misappropriate that famous quote from Rick Garcia in the epic film “Blazing Saddles,” “Special day? We don’t need no stinking special day” to celebrate digital learning. Kudos to those who did participate and I continue to be in awe of those who celebrate digital learning every day.