Happy Digital Learning Day, Colorado!

I’m still catching my breath from an amazingly successful National School Choice Week, including the Kids Aren’t Cars movie night put on by some of my friends right here in Denver.

And now today it’s the first-ever Digital Learning Day, centered at a site where you can participate in a live chat and watch a series of webcasts, including an online national townhall meeting at 1 PM Eastern (11 AM Mountain). Colorado is well represented, as the townhall features National Online Teacher of the Year Kristen Kipp from Jeffco Virtual Academy. Also, at 1:30 PM ET / 11:30 AM MT, our local Englewood High School will be one of numerous school sites around the country interacting online via Skype.

I tell you what. There is so much more going on in the digital learning arena here in Colorado, and my Education Policy Center friends are right in the middle of it. If you haven’t seen their helpful guide for parents that came out within the past couple months, you really need to check out Choosing a Colorado Online School for Your Child.

What’s more, last week they also co-sponsored an event with the Donnell-Kay Foundation that brought together nearly 50 of the state’s online education leaders to help craft a digital learning policy roadmap! The keynote speaker and facilitator for that event, Susan Patrick from iNACOL, also is speaking out on this important day:

“By embracing the transformative power and promise of online learning, kids everywhere can have access to the best teachers, engaging content and mastery-based learning opportunities. With new learning models, we can overcome achievement gaps, level the playing field and ensure America’s kids rise to meet the demands of a world that is increasingly globally-competitive,” said Susan Patrick, president and CEO of iNACOL.

Her group highlights four key areas of need policy change to expand effective digital learning opportunities not only in Colorado but also throughout the nation:

  • Break down barriers of student access
  • Move away from seat time to “competency-based” learning
  • Provide equitable, student-centered funding
  • Embrace new models of accountability and assessment

Hear, hear, time for Colorado to step up! You’ll be seeing more from me on this front in the near future. In the meantime, Happy Digital Learning Day!!