2. Organizing context

School leaders will have to make decisions about the goals and structures that are best suited to each individual course, and organize the digital content in order to meet those defined goals.

Rethinking is the first step. “Set an expectation for the use of digital tools for learning and digital content that adds value to student learning by increasing student involvement, engagement, and cognitive rigor,” Costa said. “A digital transition to simply replicate print learning conditions is a waste.”

Recreating print courses in digital form “is a waste,” he said. Instead, educators should strive to identify what impossible things digital content makes possible.

Outline each course’s potential will help educators find digital content and tools to support and fulfill that potential.

“The whole point of rethinking is to not assume your digital course has to look like your print course,” Costa said.

Course goals and objectives can begin, Costa said, with the end: “Start with the end in mind–what do you want students to know and be able to do?” he said. “Everything you do from this point forward is going to get tied back to what you have identified as the key goals for this course.”

Creating frames of reference will help educators “organize digital content within a structure that supports and is aligned with the course’s goals and objectives for student learning,” Costa said.

The more explicit an educator can be in identifying what organizational framework will work best for an individual course’s content, the better, and the easier content, style, hosting, and platform decisions will be.

Content and style will impact how digital resources are organized and used.

Developing a digital content repository that is well-designed and usable will support learning goals across all courses and will make it easier for educators to locate digital resources to support their instruction.

Timelines should be realistic, as should expectations. School leaders and educators want to ensure that a move to digital content is made correctly and carefully.