A new online community that launched Aug. 22 aims to help schools and districts as they move toward digital education and implement corresponding policy changes.
The U.S. Department of Education, the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University, and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) partnered to create the online community of practice.
Epic-ed aims to empower digital transitions at all stages of development, including school leaders who are thinking about moving to ubiquitous computing environments, those who wish to implement ed-tech pilot projects, and those who are ready for full-scale implementation.
“Epic-ed will provide K-12 educators, district leaders, and other community participants with a unique channel to get connected and develop strategies for navigating the digital transition,” said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger. “With increased peer-to-peer interaction and greater connectivity, epic-ed members will have an opportunity to learn from each other, share ideas, and ultimately implement effective plans to help ease the transition and maximize the benefits of technology-enabled learning environments.”
Though one-to-one computing has long been a goal of many districts, ed-tech leaders find they are now faced with a “one-to-many” situation, because many students today own and use more than one wireless mobile device.
“Bring your own device” initiatives—where students use their own devices on a school’s network, and the school often provides a “classroom set” of tools for students who don’t have their own device—also are growing in popularity. These initiatives cut down on tech support and take advantage of the large numbers of students who own high-tech devices and who already are using those devices, such as tablets, laptops, and smart phones, for educational purposes.
Epic-ed will focus on all stakeholders involved in ed-tech programs: school administrators, teachers, chief technology officers, instructional coaches, parents, students, and more.
On the community’s website, users will see a depiction of the digital transition cycle, a framework that epic-ed uses to help stakeholders begin or evaluate their progress toward digital education. That cycle consists of four phases: