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DIgital Learning Day Countdown, T Minus 24 @DLDay2013

Written by Writing for Change
February 05, 2013

On board an airplane is a great place to get some writing done. It has been a crazy busy life since my Digital Learning Day adventure began in November. Yesterday was full of last minute plans, students posting last minute blogs, setting up and revising lesson plans for 4 days ( I have never left my students more than a day, so this will be interesting.) They are excited to see what happens and so am I. Here’s hoping my guest teacher knows something about tech, as all the lessons revolve around digital researching and citing sources. A huge shout out to www.commonsensemedia.org and their teacher plans, they are amazing!! I know my kids are doing something valuable with their time in my absence.

It is so strange to be going to Washington D.C. to share our work. I met with my digital team Holly French and Ruth Maas yesterday after school to finalize the plans for our site. I am sad to not be there with my kids, but I know that Ruth and Holly have everything well in hand. Only a few of my kids will be actually on line during my classes tomorrow. Those who brave the 7am arrival time to post and discuss their blogs in our computer lab will be the only ones live that day. I am nervous they won’t be there. See, we have a 9am start time, and they are really having a rough time wrapping their minds around being on campus that early. I told them it’s great practice for the high school because they start at 715 am, they weren’t buying it.

They will be taking lots of pictures back on campus and tweeting them out and posting them on our Edmodo page we set up for DLDay2013. My husband has offered to shoot photos and tweet during the presentation so both sites can be digitally connected. I have never done something like this before, it’s like a cross-country conference call or meeting, it should be really interesting.

Did I say it takes a team to pull this off? Yes it does, my friends, yes it does. A huge shout out to my best friend and husband Rob Ilko for his support of everything I do. He has been there every step of the way and I just want to publicly say “thank you honey!” And to Kim Doulliard, Director of the San Diego Area Writing Project who is flying out to share this work and collaboration. Having them both with me makes this an amazingly special time.

Sitting in this cabin I notice right off the bat that most people become digitally connected the moment we reached 10,000 feet. Those who aren’t napping of course, since we are leaving so incredibly early. It’s not the flight time that’s bad, it’s the 2 hours earlier that I need to make sure I have everything and we are safely on board. I have been up since 3:30 am, and we got to the airport around 4:30 a.m., Note to self, if you are there when TSA is just opening the gates for the day and you are first in line, rest assured you will be ok and on time for your flight. Oh, and another note, aerosol deodorant causes you to be pulled into secondary unless you check your bag. I knew this, I just forgot. My husband just laughed, and noted that there is a reason he makes sure I get everywhere early. If I can make a story out of something, I will.

So what to say in D.C.? Well I have the flight to contemplate those two key questions they gave me yesterday for the Town Hall Meeting. Two things I know for sure will be in the talking points, choice inspires voice, and above all else, help young minds become producers of digital media, not just consumers. It is more important than ever to empower students with words and a platform on which to share them.

So how can you join us? Well , glad you asked, here are few options:

1 Look for many tweets today and tomorrow at @DLDay2013. Follow me @writin4change to get the latest.
2 . Join the conversation with my students 10:00am to 11:30 am EST, by joining our Edmodo group. Please log into or register at www.edmodo.com
The class code to register is: group code 99ghtj.
The Digital Learning Day page will be open until February 8th. You can view our posts and add comments over the next few days. Looking forward to your voice in our conversation.