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Digital Learning Day - February 17, 2016
Started in 2012, Digital Learning Day has provided 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. This grassroots effort blossomed into a massive nationwide celebration as teachers realized that Digital Learning Day is not about technology, it’s about learning. It’s not about laying off teachers for laptops, it’s about enhancing the role of the teacher in America’s classrooms. Digital Learning Day promotes the effective use of modern day tools afforded to every other industry to improve the learning experience in K-12 public schools.
What is i21Zone?
Using research-based instructional strategies as a framework for integrating technology helps teachers address the level of understanding for which they are aiming rather than the content area they are covering. In this way, teachers begin to think about using technology as a vehicle to facilitate student understanding rather than an embellishment within a specific content area. Using this integrated approach, iZone Trainers help teachers use technology for real learning, and as a result the training leads to a more thoughtful and integrated use of the tools available to teachers in the classroom.
We know that educators benefit from a continuous supply of information, research, & support, and that collaborative and intuitive learning environments are essential to teacher performance and student achievement.
iZone Trainers consider working with schools and districts a partnership and, as a result, work closely with teachers and school administrators to define the needs of professional development. Beginning with the end in mind, trainers look at areas of strength and weakness within a school’s instruction and curriculum and then begin on developing lessons and modeling based on needs. To be successful, curriculum units must be organized around important concepts and infused in the instructional goals of the classroom.
By definition, Innovation is described as a new way of doing something or “new stuff” that is made useful. It refers to incremental and emergent or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations. That’s our goal! To help teachers think about new ways to help students learn and achieve using the tools that exist in their classroom! Our trainers develop a collaborative environment that allows educators to create and communicate their ideas with their colleagues and peers.
Like students, teachers need time to absorb new concepts, and they need access to ongoing support to implement the instructional strategies they gain from professional development. Lead by this reality, The i21Zone approach engages teachers by modeling lessons that incorporate technology into existing curricula and then allows teachers to engage with trainers by following these modeling sessions with 3-4 hours of breaking down lessons and looking at various technologies in place in the classroom to begin building technology-based learning environments using various instructional technologies. Trainers then return to the school several weeks later to provide “side-by-side” instruction with the teachers, followed again by 3-4 hours of developing lessons that provide instruction in optimum learning environment using technology tools. As part of this approach, trainers then return to the classroom for an observation on how the teachers are progressing using these technologies with their students in order for them to enhance instruction. Trainers provide feedback with teachers and then guide them in developing customized lessons that engage students.
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