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Exploring digital learning is changing education

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Visiting a ski-hill during school hours, taking a field trip to a cheese factory or learning stories in several different languages all in one day, all of that was possible for many kids in the area and across the country, as learning communities, businesses and school districts came together for the National Digital Learning Day.

Distal Learning day is a movement across the United States that's been going on for several years, to engage students in on-line and virtual learning experiences.

Cooperative Educational Service Agency CESA 10 that serves the Chippewa Valley says this is the first year for digital field trips within the community.

“Even if you are in your classroom you can still learn from outside of your classroom by employing digital technologies and travel across the world, from inside of your classroom,” explained CESA 10 Media & Technology Integration Consultant Sarah Lipke.

Among other fun sessions like a tour of a dairy farm in Mondovi, kids learned what it is like to ski jump first hand.

CESA 10 and the Flying Eagle's Ski Club partnered up to broadcast a live session of elementary school kids from the area ski-jumping on Mt. Washington in Eau Claire.

“Part of the Digital Learning Day we wanted to test some of the technology,” said Mike Haynes.

CESA 10 Administrator Mike Haynes who is also a part of the Flying Eagles Ski Club got to jump using Google Glass.

“So you can see what it looks like when you're in the air,” explained Haynes.

Lipke says 30 of the digital mini-field trips put on by CESA 10 didn't take up much of the class time.
Classes that wanted to tune -in for a session needed to spare no more than 20 minutes.

“It's expensive to rent a school bus, it's expensive to pay people to come and talk to us,” said Montessori School of the Chippewa Valley Principal Todd Johnson.

Montessori Charter School of the Chippewa Valley Wednesday tuned in for a live session of Lipke and a CVTC Instructor reading a children's book in English and Hmong.
Johnson said it gives the kids an opportunity to integrate the technology and learn about diversity in our area.

“This gives us opportunities that we just wouldn't normally have,” said Johnson.

“Expose students to things that they might not normally have a chance to do, with zero costs involved, and pretty low resource level required from the districts,” added Lipke.

Some of the national events shown today included tours of several national museums. CESA 10 says after local sessions air live they are placed on-line.

To find the link to the CESA website and the National Digital Learning Day visit the links on the side of the page.


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