What are you planning for Digital Learning Day tomorrow?

Tomorrow is Digital Learning Day, a day devoted to reflection on best practices for utilizing educational technology to enhance teaching and learning. You might be wondering what is the big deal about this day since for many of you already every day is a digital learning day with the use of the Smart Boards for interactive lessons, Wikis and Blogs for communication and collaboration, and integration of many other computer applications and web-based tools for helping our students attain mastery in various subjects. However, it is always important to continue to add to your teaching repertoire and technology can be a great tool to do this so I highly recommend that you take tomorrow as an opportunity for continued growth.

Here are a few suggestions:
1. Attend a webinar:

  • Webinars are free and easy opportunities for professional development embedded directly into your school day. 
  • The following webinar by the YU School Partnership is being given by Dr. Eliezer Jones, YU School Partnership's Educational Technology Specialist along with Esther Feldman, The Lookstein Center for Jewish education's Director of Information Technology and Financial Services and Smadar Goldstein, Founder and Director of JETS - Jerusalem EdTech Solutions which we used to conduct a webinar about Ethiopian Jewry with our entire 10th grade as a part of their Frisch Africa Connection. It is taking place tomorrow from 12-1PM. Here is the link: http://www.yuschoolpartnership.org/webinars/upcoming-webinars?task=3&cid=28&sem_midx=1&sem_jidx=0

2. Read an article:

  • I wrote an article last year on utilizing technology in Judaic Studies for Jewish Action. It might offer a good introduction to this topic. You can read the article here: Technology in the Classroom

3.Conduct a classroom poll.

  • Polleverywhere is a great tool to get instant feedback from all of your students using texting on their cell phones what is called BYOD, Bring Your Own Device. 
  • I have blogged in the past about using PollEverywhere as a classroom exit ticket here.

4. Utilize your Smart Board as a truly interactive tool:

  • Smart Boards have become ubiquitous and virtually all of us use them on a regular basis but do we really utilize it's capabilities to promote student interaction or is it just a glorified white board. One easy way to make our lessons more interactive is by using the Smart Notebook Lesson Activity tool kit which is installed on EVERY computer at Frisch. 
  • Here are simple step-by-step instructions: http://downloads01.smarttech.com/media/services/quickreferences/pdf/english/lat_qrg.pdf

5. "Flip" your classroom:

  • Many teachers have already started to "flip" their lessons by assigning videos from Khan Academy or videos they created themselves for students to watch for homework. I have blogged in the past about the pros and cons of this approach here, here, and here.
  • Here is a link to http://www.khanacademy.org/ and Screen-Cast-O-Matic an easy tool to record your own "flipped classroom" videos. 

6. Assign your students a Voicethread:

  • Many Judaic Studies teachers have also used Voicethread as an easy tool for assigning audio assignments in which every student reads or discusses a text for you to watch later. 
  • I have blogged about this in the past here
  • I also recommend this article by Rabbi Aaron Ross entitled The Wonder of Voicethread
  • You can access Voicethread here: http://voicethread.com/

7. Use Glogster or Prezi for your next student project:

  • Glogster is an online multi-media replacement for the traditional poster board. You can find it here: http://www.glogster.com/
  • Prezi is a free online presentation tool that allows you to focus on both the "big pictures" and the "nitty gritty details" of a topic in ways not easily replicated using the traditional PowerPoint presentation. Here is a link: http://prezi.com/

8. Try something completely new!

Please share your ideas for Digital Learning Day in the comments to this blog. I would love to continue this digital conversation!