Zarah Punjwani, Gwinnett Magazine Intern
Digital learning is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student's learning experience. It emphasizes high-quality instruction and provides access to challenging content, feedback through formative assessment, opportunities for learning anytime and anywhere, and individualized instruction to ensure all students reach their full potential to succeed in college and a career.
Digital learning encompasses many different facets, tools, and applications to support and empower teachers and students, including online courses, blended or hybrid learning, or digital content and resources. Additionally, digital learning can be used for professional learning opportunities for teachers and to provide personalized learning experiences for students.
Digital learning advances school reform by increasing equity and access to educational opportunities, improving effectiveness and productivity of teachers and administrators, providing student-centered learning to ensure college and career readiness for all students, and recognizing teachers as education designers.
Recently, Gwinnett County students have had the opportunity to experience Digital Learning Day (DLD) for three days in a row. Those three days were a new experience for many students at Peachtree Ridge High School. Peachtree Ridge has never made DLD mandatory for students and teachers. We usually got the day off and had to lose a snow day in order to make it up.
This year, many students had mixed reactions to DLD. Some students agonized losing a day of relaxation to work, but some students wanted DLD to take place so that they would not lose a snow day later on. What I learned is that it is best to do the work now rather than later.
PRHS runs on a block schedule, meaning that students would lose time in first semester classes that they could never make up later on. This means they have a better chance of receiving a bad grade in the class and/or exam because they missed education time. This is especially worrying if the student is in an Advanced Placement class, as that student would be losing instruction time needed to understand the material on the Advance Placement Exam administered by College Board.