Digital Learning Day, February 23, 2017


VSTE will be partnering with the Virginia Department of Education to provide a full day of virtual events for Digital Learning Day 2017, February 23, 2017.


Throughout the day, VSTE will be featuring students from the Richmond area  talking about how they learn, how they use technology to learn and showing some of the innovative projects they are working on in their classrooms. VSTE is partnering with GRAETC to provide these classroom visits.

The VDOE will host two live webinars to provide updates on current and proposed technology-related initiatives. Join Mark Saunders, Director, Office of Technology & Virtual Learning and Bobby Keener, Chief Technology Innovations Officer for these updates. Specific times will be announced soon.

VSTE will host an evening webinar beginning at 7:30 PM that will highlight the VSTE 2016 award winners talking about educational technology past, present and future.


9:00 AM: Scrum in the Classroom

6th grade students in Mr. Frago's class in Goochland County will talk about their experiences using Scrum, a framework designed to help people work in teams. Jim Frago, Joe Beasley, and Bea Leiderman have adapted the Scrum framework from its original form in the business world to help students learn to work in teams, taking ownership of their own learning. While the school provides an iPad for every child, learning activities are more meaningful when they are collaborative. Scrum teaches students to work together effectively and seamlessly, removing many perceived barriers to project based approaches. Students will share how they have learned to use digital tools for collaboration and media creation.

Archived Recording

9:30 AM Coding with Ozobots

4th grade Hanover County students in Mrs. Yarbrough's class will discuss how they used Ozobots to code with markers on "playgrounds" in order to make the Ozobot travel over mazes and complete various challenges.  The goal of this activity was for students to work in collaborative teams to create a course the Ozobot could complete in a specified time range.  Join the students as they discuss what they learned and how they used perseverance in this innovative lesson.

Archived Recording

10:15 AM Makerspaces

Hear AP Computer Science students from Powhatan High School discuss their leadership roles in division-wide outreach programs that focus on STEM activities (STEM Fair, CS Roadshow, STEM Sisters & Brothers).  The students will showcase the different technologies they have used through computer science courses, STEM outreach activities, and the newly created high school makerspace.  Technology tools include App Inventor,, 3D printers, digital cutters, and green screen technology.  These students have a strong support system with computer science teachers, Blythe Samuels and Sharon Shadrach, along with the division's Science & STEM specialist, Libbey Kitten.

Archived Recording

10:45 AM It's a Blue Bot World
4th grade Hanover County students in Mrs. Gemmill's class read the novel The Gollywopper Games, and then worked to complete a cooperative challenge. The story is all about teamwork and problem solving.  As an extension activity, students were asked to work in teams to create a world for a Blue Bot which included an innovative theme.  Students used measurement to create their own grid on the mat and wrote a story that included four destinations and an obstacle in their bot world.  They then programmed their bot to travel to the four destinations avoiding the obstacle.  The bots visited museums, a picnic, the inside of a computer, and even the Virginia Watershed.   But could someone new read the story and accurately program the bot?  Join the students as they talk about their project and how they introduced the Bluebots to younger students.

Archived Recording

1:00 PM Using Spheros for Content Learning

Wilder Middle School students in Henrico County are using the Sphero robots to drive to different calendar dates to practice complex movements and time frames and mark points on a coordinate plane.

Watch Live (YouTube Live)

2:00 PM Bobby Keener, Chief Technology Innovations Officer, VDOE

Bobby will discuss VDOE initiatives including Open Education Resources (OER) and broadband.

Archived Recording

Digital Learning Day Slides

2:45 PM Mark Saunders, Director, Office of Technology and Virtual Learning

Mark will provide updates of digital learning projects in the areas of:

  • Computer Science – Standards development work and teacher training
  • Instructional Technology – Update to state technology plan, TSIPs, and digital content
  • Virtual Learning – New MOP applications and courses received

Archived Recording

7:30 PM VSTE Award Winners: Ed Tech Initiatives

Join our 2016 award winners to learn more about the work they are doing in their school divisions and communities:

  • Matt Caratachea, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, Henrico County Public Schools, Innovative Educator of the Year
  • Dr. Amy Cashwell, Chief Academic Officer, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Outstanding Leader of the Year
  • Ann Nash, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, Henrico County Public Schools, Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Archived Recording

Links from Matt: