How Digital Learning Day is Making Education Better for All
Today is Digital Learning Day 2014, a day dedicated to sharing new and better ways to engage children in digital learning, making them better prepared for success in college and a career. Schools, libraries, and education centers around the country are taking the Digital Learning Pledge to support the effective use of technology to improve the education of children. In addition to being a Digital Learning Day National Core Partner, NCTA and Cable in the Classroom, the cable industry’s education foundation, created InCtrl, a series of free, standards-based lessons and videos that teach digital citizenship. Perhaps a new term for some, digital citizenship is the idea that we can empower students to make thoughtful decisions online and develop a sound digital foundation for the rest of their lives. InCtrl is a holistic and positive approach to teaching digital citizenship by helping students learn how to be safe and secure, as well as smart and effective participants in a digital world. You can learn more about InCtrl by watching the video below. When the program was released in 2013, Eric Langhorst, a teacher at Discovery Middle School in Liberty, Missouri wrote, “Teaching students to be good digital citizens is an extremely important topic. Unfortunately it is too often neglected because adults are not sure how to address and explain the issues. The InCtrl curriculum helps teachers start the discussion about digital citizenship topics which can then be supported by and continued with discussions at home.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. And while we’re particularly proud of InCtrl and the success it’s had in bringing the topic of digital citizenship to the front of the education technology conversation, it’s not the only example of using the power of cable broadband to grow and improve digital learning. For example: Cartoon Network launched Stop Bullying: Speak Up, a multi-platform pro-social initiative focused on motivating bystanders to speak up and help prevent bullying. Organizations participating in the Partner Network include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Barnes and Noble, CNN, Facebook, and Time Warner. And Discovery Education Techbook, a digital textbook series, offers robust digital content to engage students and enhance their digital learning. A multimodal platform, the Discovery Education Techbook includes text, video, virtual experiments and collaborative projects. It even allows students to change reading levels for better comprehension. For young people, the programming and access that cable television and broadband delivers can transform their education. Digital literacy and an expansive, accessible education is not a luxury - it’s a necessity. We’re pleased to be a part of Digital Learning Day and we commend the many organizations who not just today, but every day, recognize the importance of digital learning.