Governor LePage, Maine DOE and schools recognize Digital Learning Day

Maine is an international leader in advancing digital learning opportunities for its students, and schools across the state will celebrate that innovation Wednesday

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has proclaimed Wednesday as Digital Learning Day throughout Maine and his Administration will be joined by the state’s students and schools in recognizing the important opportunities digital learning provides.

Organized by the Alliance for Excellence Education, the third annual national Digital Learning Day spotlights innovative teaching and effective applications of education technology that improve learning and support teachers.

In his proclamation, Governor LePage noted “when done correctly, the infusion of digital learning and the effective use of technology in schools can help personalize and improve the learning of every child.” Digital learning and technology can also help educators be more effective and efficient, he wrote.

Under the leadership of Governor LePage, Maine has continued to be an international trailblazer in making digital learning accessible to its students.

The State recently expanded its decade-old Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) program to offer schools choice in selecting the technology that was right for them, and this fall, around 70,000 HP laptops and Apple iPads and MacBooks were distributed by the Maine Department of Education to students and educators.

The Department has also made providing multiple pathways for learning achievement a core focus of its Education Evolving strategic plan, an acknowledgement of the value that self-directed, self-paced, anytime, anywhere learning technology offers even the most remote Maine students.

“Every day is Digital Learning Day in Maine schools,” said Acting Educator Commissioner Jim Rier. “Just as industry has improved and innovated by incorporating technology into their practices, so have our schools. The Department of Education is committed to continuing to support the digital learning being showcased across Maine on Feb. 5 because we know the investment and emphasis our State continues to make in technology will position our students perhaps better than any other in the nation for the colleges, careers and challenges of the 21st century.”

Acting Commissioner Rier and Maine DOE Learning Technology Policy Director Jeff Mao will participate in a State House celebration of Digital Learning Day at 10 a.m. on Wednesday in the Welcome Center.

Maine schools will commemorate the awareness day in different ways that reflect the diversity of the opportunities digital learning provides to Maine students.

At the Frank H. Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth, all teachers are being challenged to try a new tech tool in their classroom from a list of suggested tools provided by Technology Coordinator Mike Arsenault. Meanwhile at Telstar Middle School in Bethel, students will develop and perform a screen cast of a technology tip to distribute through their YouTube Channel.

Shapleigh School students will Skype with Newbury Award-winning author Avi, Penquis Valley High School ninth graders in Milo will consider how technology affects their daily life and Edward Little High School students will communicate via technology with fellow students in Kazakhstan and South Africa.

For more information about Digital Learning Day and other related events in Maine, visit www.digitallearningday.org. For more information about digital learning in Maine schools, visit www.maine.gov/education/technology/.

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