Digital Learning Days

Posted by Dr. Jonathon Wetherington on 1/16/2018

Monday, January 8, 2018, was an historic day in Gwinnett County Public Schools. This marks our first districtwide Digital Learning Day due to an inclement weather scenario.  The use of digital learning days are an exciting opportunity for both students and teachers as we look to the future of teaching and learning. Digital learning allows teachers to deliver lessons specific to the needs of individual students in the form of different learning experiences, such as videos, reading assignments, etc.) as well as different assignments that students turn in. The key to effective digital learning just like traditional learning is in the design and delivery of the lesson. If done well, digital learning days give our students a unique way to learn, and it provides teachers the opportunity to personalize teaching and learning. At Paul Duke STEM, we are excited to unlock the potential of digital learning days once a week beginning in August 2018.

 Students at Paul Duke STEM High School will have extensive opportunities to learn with and through technology. Technology continues to shape the world around us, and our students will learn to apply technology throughout their lives and learning. I know that devices and digital learning cannot replace the dynamic classroom interaction between teachers and students. However, it can provide students with multiple practice opportunities, unique multimedia experiences, and real-world experiences. Thus, our approach to the use of technology in STEM education is highly focused. We believe that technology is one of many tools available to teachers to engage students to take ownership of their learning experience. As educators, we will use technology to address the needs of our students and to ensure that our decisions are driven by data. In our modern academic, professional, and personal lives, all students need to develop technological proficiency with industry-standard resources to be prepared for college and careers.

As the career opportunities of the future are constantly changing due to various economic drivers, students need to be prepared to lead and serve in a variety of different work environments. We believe that digital lessons done right can be more individualized and more powerful through this individualized nature. As Paul Duke STEM High looks to incorporate digital learning days on a weekly basis, we are excited to see how teachers can provide students with great learning opportunities online and still allow students to come into school for one-on-one instruction and designated time to work collaboratively with their peers on projects. I am looking forward to how digital learning and flexible days on Fridays will help our students unlock their future.