Monday, January 27, 2014

Digital Learning Day Challenge: #Make4DLDay

By Guest Blogger Jennifer Rinehart, Vice President, Research & Policy at the Afterschool Alliance

Jennifer Rinehart
On Feb. 5, thousands of educators will take part in the third annual Digital Learning Day, a nationwide celebration of common sense, effective applications of digital learning that support educators, improve learning and provide opportunities for students to achieve at their highest potential.  As part of this celebration, we’re excited to announce the #Make4DLDay challenge and want you to join the fun!

Thanks to digital media and technology, our
education system is undergoing a major shift in how, where and what students are learning.  The organizations collaborating in this challenge—the Afterschool AllianceEdutopia, and the National Writing Project (via its Educator Innovator Initiative and Digital Is platform)—share a common belief that this shift should reflect connected learning principles, including interest-driven, production-centered learning opportunities for youth, in school and out.  These principles allow youth to collaborate with peers and mentors in person and via the Web as they become producers of digital artifacts and not just consumers.

 To that end, we’re inviting you to join us in accepting the #Make4DLDay challenge—a set of digital storytelling activities that allow youth and adults to be makers for Digital Learning Day.  

So, what exactly are we making?  From remixing important historical events to educating peers about issues in their communities, we’re encouraging young people everywhere to create and share digital stories that reflect what interests them.

The #Make4DLDay challenge allows you to “level up” and participate in a number of ways, based on your familiarity with digital tools and access to technology.  All you have to do is choose your level, pick your topic and share your work on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ or other social media platforms using the hashtag #Make4DLDay.

Check out the Digital Learning Day website for more details about the #make4DLDay challenge or browse the resources below to help familiarize you with the power of storytelling as a digital learning strategy. We can't wait to see what you come up with!

Jen Rinehart joined the Afterschool Alliance in September 2002 and established the Afterschool Alliance's WashingtonD.C. office.  Jen takes a primary role in the Afterschool Alliance's coalition building, policy and research efforts, and serves as a spokesperson for the organization.  Recent projects include America After 3 PM: A Household Survey on Afterschool in America and Kids Deserve Better, a campaign to get voters and candidates thinking and talking about children's issues, particularly afterschool. Jen also served as Interim Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance from December 2004 through June 2005.  

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