LANSING — The Michigan Department of Education, in partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education, Monday announced its participation as a state host in the first-ever Digital Learning Day campaign and kick off to Michigan’s “Year of the Digital Learner.”

This national campaign is designed to celebrate innovative teaching and highlight practices that make learning more personalized and engaging for students, exploring how digital learning can provide all students with the opportunities they deserve — to build the skills needed to succeed in college, a career, and life.

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“In Michigan, the first state to require students to successfully complete an online course or learning experience, digital or online learning provides a powerful alternative for students who have a need for greater flexibility with their education due to individual learning styles, employment commitments and comfort with traditional school environments,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan said. “There is a significant potential to expand the use of online learning as a practical strategy to help students stay in school and graduate. We’re excited to be kicking off the Year of the Digital Learner on Feb. 1.”

Through this work and by hosting a Digital Learning Day on Feb. 1, Michigan strives to build momentum for a wave of innovation that changes policies, shifts attitudes, and supports wide-scale adoption of these promising instructional practices.

Digital Learning Day will be the start of a year of digital learning activities to be designated as 2012 Year of the Digital Learner.

“Digital Learning Day is more than just a day,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “It is about building a digital learning movement that provides teachers with better tools to truly provide a quality education for every child.  Simply layering on technology alone will not move the education needle very much.  Effective technology combined with great teachers and engaged students have the potential to transform the world of learning.”

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As the host of Digital Learning Day, Michigan will highlight a school that is using innovation to make a difference for students. Michigan also will continue to reach out and share resources that support the goals of and participation in Digital Learning Day and 2012 Year of the Digital Learner.

A press conference will be held at East Lansing Public Schools’ Donley Elementary School, 2961 Lake Lansing Road, East Lansing, at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

All education stakeholders — parents; teachers; students; librarians; administrators; policymakers; and school, district, and business leaders — are encouraged to sign up now. Participants will have access to targeted toolkits outlining ideas and ways to plan their Digital Learning Day celebration, as well as updates, informational videos, webinars, and other resources.

No matter the approach, no matter the grade level, no matter the subject or geographic location, no matter a teacher’s specific comfort with using technology, this campaign will challenge education professionals and policymakers at all levels to start a conversation, improve a lesson, and/or create a plan.

To learn more about how to be a part of this groundbreaking event, sign up at You can also “like” Digital Learning Day on Facebook at and follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #DLDday.

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Watch the official announcements of Digital Learning Day at For more information on Michigan events, go to