August 31st is World Distance Learning Day

Boy studying at home e-learning

Published: August 31st, 2022

Join us August 31 as we celebrate World Distance Learning Day! This is a day to recognize the gift of education that defies the limitations of physical walls. Thanks to modern technology, students of all ages can learn from home, the library, or any other safe place with a secure internet connection.

Even though distance learning has been around for centuries, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that teachers and students began to reimagine what virtual classrooms and lessons could look like. 

At Promethean, we’re honored to provide education technology products and software to teachers and students, making teaching across long distances more accessible than ever before. Let’s explore the impact of distance learning.

Did You Know Distance Learning Has Been Around Since 1728?

People have used different methods to take classes over long distances since the early 18th century. In fact, the first recorded long-distance class was taught in 1728. 

Caleb Phillips advertised his shorthand classes in the Boston Gazette, mailing students their lessons once a week.

But he wasn’t the only one. Sir Isaac Pitman also had a correspondence shorthand course in the 1840s, and his students would mail him a postcard with their efforts which he corrected and mailed back. 

With the advent of the internet, learning from home became more accessible than ever. The University of Toronto taught the first completely online course. Other universities and colleges quickly followed their example. 

Grade schools and middle schools have traditionally been taught in person, but the COVID-19 pandemic made teaching classes to kids online a necessity. 

According to the National Center For Education Statistics, in 2020 77% of public schools reported moving classes to online distance-learning formats. Some schools were completely remote while others offered an option for hybrid learning.

Ways to Celebrate World Distance Learning Day

While you could use this holiday as an excuse to buy a laptop-shaped cake, there are other fun ways to celebrate World Distance Learning Day that don’t involve a party. 

Take this opportunity to increase your knowledge about distance learning techniques and best practices. As technology progresses, it will be integrated into more schools and curricula. 

There are three other ways to honor the beauty of distance learning, too. 

1. Sign up for an online course in a subject you’ve always been interested in.

Online classes or courses can be as fun as a singing MasterClass taught by Christina Aguilera or a Spanish class from the local community college. 

There are also many ways to learn how to use edtech more efficiently (and quickly) in your classroom. Promethean has a slew of free online courses you can enroll in right now. Choose from any of the following courses: 

At your leisure, discover tricks your ActivPanel can do and explore activities you can set up through the built-in apps. 

2. Practice a new language and make friends with Conversation Exchange.

If you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, then check out Conversation Exchange

Here’s how it works: Sign up on the site, list where you live, what language you speak, and what language you want to learn. Then, you can search their database for a native speaker near you.

From there, you communicate via online messages until you feel comfortable meeting in person. The idea behind this is that people learn languages better when they speak the language with a native speaker. 

If you’re uncomfortable meeting a stranger in person, browse the website’s list of online resources or check out another language app like Duolingo

3. Plan an activity or discussion for your students.

If your school district is in session on August 31st, celebrate with your students. Young children might enjoy playing a memory game on the ActivPanel. Older kids can briefly discuss what they like about online classes. 

If you teach high school students in a Social Studies class, consider encouraging a healthy debate about the pros and cons of distance learning for children. 

You know your students best. Take advantage of this day and weave it into your previously-planned lessons. 

Embrace Learning Outside of the Physical Classroom

Thanks to technology, it’s becoming easier than ever to teach students who can’t be in your classroom physically. 

World Distance Learning Day can help us discover how ActivInspire and Explain Everything make it easier than ever to engage with students from home. Contact a Promethean expert to learn how our groundbreaking interactive displays and  software can help you teach a hybrid class seamlessly.