For decades, teachers have known their schools were more than a place for students to learn – they provided a safe space where kids could form trusting relationships, receive support services, and build critical skills that set the foundation for future success.
These visionary educators have strived to address not just the educational needs of each child, but their social and emotional ones as well. As devastating as the pandemic has been on society, one silver lining that has emerged is the understanding that education must evolve, especially in regards to equity, access, and social-emotional learning.
Today, teachers, administrators, edtech companies, and industry organizations are working together to break the barriers of time and place that impact a child’s learning while meeting the intent of state policies regarding funding and accountability.
One of the biggest drivers of change is the Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC), a membership group dedicated to exploring, producing, and disseminating data, information, news, and best practices in digital learning. And one of their most effective platforms for collaboration is its Digital Learning Annual Conference (DLAC), which will be held February 7-9, 2022, both in-person and online.
DLC member Apex Learning is proud to present eight panels at this year’s conference, which will spotlight how technology can increase student opportunities and outcomes today and for years to come.
The impact of the DLC on education
On a recent “Opportunity Thrives” podcast, John Watson, the founder of Evergreen Education Group and DLAC, discussed how DLC members are developing best practices and strategies for success in online and blended learning settings.
According to Watson, educators’ voices have been elevated like never before. “We want to bring in the folks who are doing the work on the ground in districts and in schools – to share what they’re learning and learn from each other. This is really the founding concept behind both the DLC and the DLAC conference. We don’t see these as forums where we gather experts who are telling educators what to do; we see the educators out there as the experts.”
Since the pandemic began, the DLC has established the Resilient Schools Project – a collaborative network to support districts in their response to disruptions in education – assisted in the Biden/Harris leadership transition and worked with its State Affiliates to influence policies on a state-by-state level that expanded online and hybrid opportunities to those students who benefit from digital learning.
“There are lots of people, from district leaders to state leaders to federal regulators, who are willing to take a fresh look at what we need to clear out in terms of regulations to allow educators to do what they need to do to engage students in the best way possible,” said Watson.
As the DLC moves forward this school year, a focus continues to be on giving educators the tools and resources to tailor social-emotional learning to each child’s individual needs as well as build stronger teacher-student relationships. In addition, DLC members’ commitment to accelerated learning is helping students who have not responded well to remote learning quickly catch up to classmates and progress toward graduation.
The DLAC sets the stage for educators, edtech companies, and policymakers to deliver on the real promise of online, hybrid, and digital learning and together transform education for better student outcomes. To join DLC and Apex Learning either online or in-person in Atlanta this February, register today at www.deelac.com.