Klea Scharberg

Connecting Digital Learners Roundup

In February, we looked at what it takes to meaningfully integrate technology into students' lives to help them achieve the academic, social, and emotional learning and development key to their success and ensure they are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

Unfortunately, unchecked and unfocused use of technology can result in students disconnecting from the "why" of learning and from the real-time relationships that are key to their development and success. Alternatively, high-quality integration of technology has the potential to not only prepare young people for their futures, but enhance and expand learning and connectedness.

Listen to the Whole Child Podcast with guests Heidi Hayes Jacobs, author of Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World, founder and president of Curriculum Designers Inc., and executive director of the Curriculum Mapping Institute; Juliette Mersiowsky, instructional designer and instructor of education and technology at Germanna Community College in Virginia; and Ena Bentley Wood, technology integration specialist with Arlington (Va.) Public Schools.

Think about how technology can challenge at-risk students to achieve and excel with Cyndy Woods-Wilson, an educator passionate about enhancing the learning experience for at-risk learners.

Explore what "screenagers" need from teachers today in February issues of Educational Leadership magazine and ASCD Express. Find resources to enhance education and engage children and youth who are defined by their technology and media use, their love of electronic communication, and their need to multitask.

Read educator and expert perspectives on "connecting with the connected":

Consider the true promise of technology and our obligation to students with Chris Lehmann, the founding principal of the Science Leadership Academy, a progressive science and technology high school in Philadelphia, Pa.

View archived webinar discussions with ASCD authors Heidi Hayes Jacobs, who asks us to replace our dated curriculum with contemporary content and skills in a deliberate process called "upgrading," and Frank Baker, an advocate of teaching media literacy skills to engage students and meet teaching standards.

Learn what a digital high school looks like and how it combines effective pedagogy and current technology.

Find ways to connect digital learners in their education from whole child partners the American Association of School Administrators, American Association of School Librarians, International Society for Technology in Education, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Middle School Association, National Parent Teacher Association, and National School Boards Association.

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and ASCD EDge to find more resources, research, and stats, including links to

  • A look at iPad use in a San Francisco 8th grade algebra class.
  • Video, discussion guides, interviews, and more from PBS Teachers' Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century.
  • A paper outlining a a four-year high school program, 21st Century Skills and ePortfolio, that focuses on providing students with 21st century skills while also preparing them for the Ohio Graduation Test.
  • An ASCD EDge blog post by Erik Palmer on helping teachers think about what skills and information are being taught in lessons and if keeping traditional curricula is best serving students.
  • A discussion of "augmented reality"—using mobile devices to access digital information that overlays or infuses the real world around students—with research findings and examples from schools.
  • An ASCD EDge blog post by Mike Fisher about Social Justice LIVE!, an online 8th grade social justice research project.
  • The Digital Youth Network, a hybrid digital literacy program that creates opportunities for youth to engage in learning environments that span both in-school and out-of-school contexts.
  • A principal-facilitated discussion on allowing cell phones in school and incorporating their use in lessons.
  • The archived webinar presentation on "Starting and Growing A Successful Online Learning Program" sponsored by Education Week.

In this video, educator Cheryl Lemke shares her thoughts on the use of social networking tools to create new and challenging environments to engage students.

How do your school and community meaningfully connect digital learners to their peers, teachers, and communities; to rich and challenging learning; and to their futures?

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