Instructional practice that effectively integrates 21st-century technology tools to enhance and strengthen a student’s learning experience Chesterfield County students participated in Digital Learning Day...

Instructional practice that effectively integrates 21st-century technology tools to enhance and strengthen a student’s learning experience

Chesterfield County students participated in Digital Learning Day last week as part of the school division’s efforts to create and highlight innovative instructional practices through its Imagine Tomorrow Spotlight Days. Chesterfield County Public Schools moved toward a blended learning model as part of a continued effort to engage students in authentic learning opportunities.

“Through our nationally recognized Anytime, Anywhere Learning initiative, our schools continue to combine the best of face-to-face instruction with 21st century technology tools that capture our students’ attention and launch them into authentic learning experiences,” School Board Chair John Erbach said. “Digital learning allows our school division to reach beyond the four walls of our school buildings to connect with the community and show our students that what they are learning now is relevant to what they will be doing in the future.”

“By participating in Digital Learning Day, our school division is highlighting the innovative, engaging and creative ways we make learning fun and ignite the love of learning in our students by challenging them to utilize new resources,” Superintendent Dr. James Lane said. “The school division’s Imagine Tomorrow Spotlight Days are designed to reinforce the 21st-century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and effective communication while enhancing student engagement through relevant, hands-on learning opportunities.”

School leaders and teachers were encouraged to integrate 21st-century technology teaching-and-learning tools, create project-based learning opportunities and infuse community service projects in the spotlight days.

Started in 2012, the national Digital Learning Day movement has provided a powerful venue for education leaders to highlight best practices for teachers and showcase innovative teachers, leaders and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes. 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.

Here are a few ways Chesterfield County schools participated in Digital Learning Day:
Ecoff Elementary third-graders created an advertisement video for Virginia Commonwealth University Market Day businesses using WeVideo; fourth-graders participated in a Google Hangout question-and-answer session with an engineer.

Watkins Elementary first-graders took a virtual field trip to Mt. Vernon.
Matoaca Middle students participated in the UNICEF Kid Power Up Challenge. Each time a group completed a Kid Power Up track, they unlock a packet of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food to treat children suffering from severe acute malnutrition throughout the world.

Swift Creek Middle students facilitated a “Flat Stanley” project with feeder patter elementary schools using a vex robot. The middle school classrooms connected with the elementary school classrooms using Google Hangout to discuss projects.

Bird High’s World History II students explored a digital museum. A digital museum pair virtual field trips, Google Cultural Institute and Google Slides to make an interactive museum that students can explore from their classroom.

Chesterfield County Public Schools will hold two additional Imagine Tomorrow Spotlight Days to celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and Creativity Day during the months of May and June.