Transformative Digital Learning: A Guide to Implementation

About this Project In collaboration with multiple education organizations and with state leaders, SETDA developed professional learning resources for states to build state-level capacity as they transition to digital learning. The project includes a set of professional learning resources, known as facilitator guides, for states and districts to use to host statewide and/or regional convenings to provide customized support and training. This project also includes a set of stakeholder communication toolkits designed to help stakeholders disseminate information about teaching and learning in the digital age. Facilitator Guides The Facilitator Guides provide education leaders with the information and resources they need to conduct a professional learning session for state, district or school leaders. Leaders across the field collaborated to develop these guides, which include a crowd-sourced curation of resources. The documents are intended to inspire conversation, evaluation and reflection around the current state of your educational ecosystem as well as support planning and implementation in the digital age. Each guide can act as a starting point and additional sessions on the topic can be scheduled throughout the year. Stakeholder Communication Toolkits The stakeholder communication toolkits describe the role of the stakeholder as a key influencer for learning in the digital age to help ensure that students are college and career ready. In addition to background information about learning in the digital age, the toolkits highlight topics most relevant to the specific stakeholders. Stakeholder member organizations may want to share this toolkit with members to explain the importance of moving towards digital learning while addressing some of the areas of concern most relevant to the stakeholders as districts and schools transition to learning in the digital age. Toolkits includes a communications packet with sample documents that are customizable. Partners can add logos, examples or other resources to help engage stakeholders and support this topic.

Digital Learning Plans

Strategic planning is essential to achieve our goals for learning in the digital age. Strategic planning embraces the general structure of any thoughtful, systematic process. That is, stakeholders begin with a gap analysis or needs assessment, then define goals, activities, timelines, and outcomes to address the needs and finally evaluate whether needs were met.

Conduct a Needs Assessment

As part of the strategic planning process, states and districts should conduct a needs assessment, environmental scan, or evaluation of conditions for success. This leads to action planning that defines the audience served, professional development and resources needed to carry out the technology plan.

Define Goals, Objectives and Activities

  • Develop specific goals, objectives, and activities/strategies that transform teaching and learning and align to the district’s strategic plan and results of needs assessments
  • Ensure that state and federal requirements and expectations are included in goals, objectives, and strategies.
  • Include a timeline to help ensure that goals and objectives are met in a reasonable time frame
  • Communicate with education stakeholders the timeline for implementation and expected results
  • Identify the person and/or departments responsible for each activity
  • Include a process for aligning activities/strategies with curriculum standards
  • Include well-defined strategies for evaluation, assessment, and accountability
  • Incorporate new instructional approaches and communication models in the plan

Conduct an Evaluation

  • Develop a process for measuring the effectiveness of the plan based upon metrics that were included in the goals, objectives, and activities
  • Include dedicated time for planning, collaboration, communication, feedback, and adjustment during the plan’s implementation
  • Determine formative and summative methods for evaluation, including online measures to document progress and achievements
As states and districts develop digital learning plans, essential components to consider include:
  • Infrastructure
  • Devices
  • Technology & Hardware
  • Platforms
  • 1:1
  • Funding
  • Human Capacity/Professional Learning
  • Content, Instruction, Assessment
  • Virtual Courses
  • Local innovations
  • Regional/state support
  • Communication
  • Procurement
  • Empowering Leadership
  • Data and Privacy

Facilitator Guide

essential componentsThe Facilitator Guide – Essential Components provides education leaders with the information and resources they need to conduct a professional learning session. Participants will:
  • Hear from your colleagues on how technology supports their student learning goals.
  • Explore federal policy shifts around transforming learning in the digital age.
  • Examine exemplar digital learning plans and identify common components across the plans.
  • Create a digital learning plan that can be used as model in your state or district.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with other state leaders.

Key Questions

  • Where is your state/district in the development of a digital learning plan?
  • Do you plan to develop a digital learning plan in the next 6 months? Next 12 months?
  • What factors hinder your planning process? Leadership? Staff time?
  • How are you considering equity issues across your state/district?
  • What funding options are you considering?
  • Is your state/district considering competency-based education?
  • How are you addressing personalized learning in your state/district?

State Digital Learning Exemplars

SETDA and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University, College of Education co-released this national report. States are striving to support the expansion of technology tools and resources in K-12 education through state policies, programs and funding in order to provide digital learning opportunities for all students.
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