Documenting evidence of participants’ learning, progress, and sustainability will help to measure both short-term and long-term success. Feedback loops can be beneficial for monitoring progress toward learning goals and identifying new areas for professional learning when there are authentic measures that are embedded in the learning process. Opportunities for feedback loops may include informal and formal data collection and analysis for with administrators, professional learning providers, instructional coaches, teachers and staff.
The best teachers do not approach instruction and student learning from one dimension. They understand that the contents of curriculum, whether it comes in the form of a printed book or digital content will need to be supplemented. Each student has a few optimal ways to learn, and the great benefit of digital content is that it can be made available in all of the various formats that might be useful and necessary. Likewise, do not assume that a single source of digital content will meet all needs in a classroom.
Teachers need time to meet with each other and share the digital “jewels” they have found in their explorations and explain how they have integrated those resources into their lessons. This form of “peer encouragement” is the most effective way to spark new practices and address old fears and concerns that educators have in making changes to their instructional practices.
Therefore, as your school or district expands its use of digital content, do not lose sight of the change management aspects of that transition. Be prepared for varying levels of enthusiasm among teachers regarding the use of non-printed materials in the classroom. Celebrate and publicize successes as they surface. And continually re-evaluate the approach and resources used for locating and identifying digital content to make that part of the process as satisfying and efficient as possible. Finally, be sure to track and evaluate how different content is used with students over time. Ultimately the effectiveness of the content should be reflected in student learning.