Can you even imagine what 2020 would have been like for our area students had they not had the option to learn from home? Luckily, distance learning was an option for them. It hasn't been around THAT long.

When I was a kid, we got excited over using dry erase markers. It's like a dream come true for students to be able to use this kind of technology in the classroom.

In fact, St. Cloud Area School District 742 is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Digital Learning Day.

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They put together a really cool video highlighting the different ways they've been able to use the technology inside and outside of the classroom.

First grade teacher Laura Dickhaus from Westwood Elementary is in the video talking about her personal experiences with distance learning.

"We use our iPads … on my device I can see what they're writing on their screens. and it kind of gives us that instant feedback as teachers. The kids really respond well and it's been really engaging for them," said Dickhaus.

In the video she admits that this last year has forced her to incorporate technology in the classroom that last year at this time she wasn't as comfortable with. Distance learning made her realize that the students can do a lot more with the iPad than she realized.

Even though digital learning has been around for 10 years, students and staff are just now starting to use it in ways they didn't know they could.

Marlene Miller is a Distance Learning Academy teacher. She is also in the video talking about how she feels students are doing a great job trying new things. She gave out a digital art assignment and says she was happy with how the students ran with it and did a great job.

One thing is for sure, students are doing a great job tackling the new technology and challenges in front of them. Happy 10th Digital Learning Day!