Are you aware that today is Digital Learning Day? Do you know what Digital Learning Day is? If not, please take a moment and search “Digital Learning Day” on Google; or check Twitter for “#DLDay”; or ask Siri/Alexa; or just head on over to https://digitallearningday.org/. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
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Got it? Fantastic. Now, please tell me, what is Digital Learning Day? What did you discover and how did you learn about it? Did you drive downtown? Did you go ask an EdTech guru? Or did you remember learning about it in college? By the way, do you still have that college textbook, the one where you learned about Digital Learning Day?

I am confident that almost no one reading this went and asked someone, drove somewhere, or remembered a debate from college about Digital Learning Day. It just does not work that way. At some point, whether it was today, or five years ago, you researched it and learned about it yourself, using the Internet and digital technology to find out the facts.

You were empowered to learn something. You asked yourself this question: What is Digital Learning Day? And then you went and learned about it. Good for you, because that is what Digital Learning Day is all about. Equipping and empowering students to learn. Digital Learning Day is not about technology. It never has been. Technology is a means to an end, and if you do not believe me, then may I remind you that paper books were once a new technology, too?

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Because you are reading this, by definition, you are already ahead of the curve. But not everyone is there yet. Not everyone has access to the Internet. Not everyone has access to the digital resources and tools. Not everyone knows how to use them effectively. There is a big gap, and we all have a role to play in closing that gap.

This is the reason that I am so grateful for the E-rate program. It is the primary source of funding for Internet access for K-12 schools and libraries in the United States. Millions of learners are connected to the Internet and have better connections than they would otherwise because of the vital support provided via the federal E-rate program. This is something we can all celebrate.

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Today, I encourage you to reflect upon your own learning opportunities, and the opportunities for others around you. Celebrate a student. Celebrate a teacher. Send (or tweet!) a note of encouragement. Most of all, celebrate learning because that is what Digital Learning Day is all about.

Sincerely,
@jdharrington

#DLDay #EdTech #Erate #DigitalDivide #HomeworkGap