Wednesday, February 1, 2012


February 1 is Digital Learning Day in Idaho and across the country. The Idaho State Department of Education, in partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education, is celebrating innovative teaching across Idaho and highlighting practices that make learning more personalized and engaging for students.

“Digital learning is a critical piece of the 21st Century Classroom. As we have expanded access to digital learning in the classroom through Students Come First, teachers now can individualize instruction for all students and make sure ensure every child is on a path to graduate from high school prepared to go on to postsecondary education or the workforce,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter declared February 1, 2012 as Digital Learning Day in Idaho.

Across the country, 37 states are participating in Digital Learning Day in some way. On this day and throughout the year, the state will work with Idaho teachers and parents to explore how digital learning can provide all students with opportunities to build the skills needed to succeed in postsecondary education, a career, and throughout life.

Through the passage of Students Come First education reform laws, Idaho is providing students and families with more choices than ever in public education. The state has expanded digital learning opportunities in the classroom, such as access to digital content, interactive technologies, and the Idaho Education Network.

All education stakeholders – districts, schools, teachers, students, librarians, parents, and business and community partners –are encouraged to register to participate in Digital Learning Day activities at

By signing up now, participating schools and teachers will have access to targeted toolkits outlining ideas and ways to plan their Digital Learning Day celebration, as well as updates, informational videos, webinars, and other resources.

As the host of Digital Learning Day in Idaho, Governor Otter, Superintendent Luna and the staff at the State Department of Education will honor educators who are using innovation to make a difference for students.

Idaho will continue to reach out and highlight resources that support the goals of and participation in Digital Learning Day and encourages the sharing of ideas, creative lessons, and resources with others across the state and country with several opportunities.

Here is a list of opportunities for students and teachers:

• The State Department of Education is excited to announce the launch of a yearlong statewide lesson plan award to showcase innovative practices in the classroom. The Department will award more than $108,000 in gift certificates over the course of a year from March until February of next year to teachers who develop exemplary lesson plans across all academic subjects and grades. The best examples will be showcased in the statewide instructional management system, known as Schoolnet, which provides lesson planning tools and access to Idaho’s content standards online. More information on this contest is available online at

• In addition, the Department is distributing $6,000 in lesson plan awards specifically for visual arts teachers who create lessons aligned with Idaho content standards that infuse technology and student art work. These will be displayed at the State Department of Education Art Gallery at Superintendent Luna will be giving a special Superintendent’s Award for exemplary student art. More information will be announced by the end of February 2012 regarding this program.

• The Department will host an Instructional Technology Showcase. Schools, libraries, community programs, and classrooms are invited to showcase how they are using digital media and lessons to improve teaching and learning. The Department is looking for ideas and exemplars to display on the Department website in the near future. To learn more, visit

For more information on these opportunities and Digital Learning Day in Idaho, visit

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