Sunday, February 26, 2017

Digital Learning Day Reflections

Last Thursday Chattanooga Christian Lower School opened our doors for observations of technology integration. We had both local and regional educators come and visit our school for the day. Our teachers didn't do anything they don't do every single day, we just opened the doors to allow others to see it. We had 12-15 different educators visiting from 5 different school systems.

We started the day with a brief explanation of technology integration at our school and then gave our visitors an agenda
 of different things happening throughout the day that they could walk in and visit. I shared that they were welcomed to come and go as they please, that they didn't have to stay for an entire lesson if they wanted to go check out something else. We adopted the edcamp "rule of two feet" for this event. Our visitors were also given the opportunity to ask our students and teachers questions as long as direct instruction wasn't happening.

I believe our teachers do a great job on a regular basis at integrating technology into the curriculum of our lower school. Therefore, when I told them about digital learning day I didn't ask for anything special to happen, I just asked them to allow visitors when they normally used technology in the classrooms. For many of our visitors, technology integration wasn't happening really. It was more a stand alone class for technology. Our visitors were amazed with how seamless the integration was in the classroom settings.

As a technology coordinator I am left with some reflections from that day as well:

  1. I work with innovative teachers. Teachers that don't wait for me to tell them what apps, technology, and websites they should use. Many of our teachers seek technology ideas out by themselves. They often will ask my opinions but most of them rarely wait to be told what has to be done. I realize this isn't always the case in many schools. I'm thankful for the culture of acceptance of instructional technology at CCS lower school.  
  2. We are a collaborative lot. Our students don't blink when others are in the classroom. I love that this is the case. On a day when there were visitors at the school, it wasn't really that much of a disruption because we often have help coming in and out of the classroom. The days of a teacher being silo'd all day long are long past. There are student teachers, interventionists, technology support, STEAM coordinators  and observers that are all part of the village raising children.
  3. I am supported. Our Lower School Head, Chief Technology Officer and Curriculum Director were setting up coffee bars, checking fuse boxes, welcoming guests, and making me look good! The events we have pulled off lately couldn't be done without an amazing team. I'm thankful for the way they listen to my crazy ideas and support me in them.
  4. When your school is doing things well, you should celebrate it. Our teachers and interventionists look for ways to streamline teaching by leveraging technology. When I look at the 2016 ISTE Standards for Students
    and I stand amazed at how well we are hitting the bar on the standards that came out last year but are suppose to "last" 5-10 years. Our teachers are using technology efficiencies create opportunities to use the extra time for other things but also by using technology regularly they are empowering our students with skills that will help them for a lifetime. 

    5th Graders writing in Google Docs and uploading to

    1st Graders learning about Digital Citizenship with visitors observing

    Math Interventionist sharing about Moby Max

    2nd Graders doing creative writing in

    5th Grade Paperless Math Classroom


  1. Do you have any similar "Digital Learning Days" planned in the future? I would love to bring some of our teachers up there to observe. We have gone to a local public school system (Forsyth County) in the past, but we would love to see this happening in a Christian school.

    1. We have discussed having another one on national digital learning day next year (Feb 23rd). Follow me on Twitter (juliedavisEDU) and I will post there if we follow through! We did consider it a successful day!