At the Learning Counsel’s Annual Gathering and National Awards event, twelve leading districts were recognized for their vision and innovation in integrating digital curriculum and technology into their teaching and learning process. Attendees at the event included top education executives from around the U.S., who gathered to acknowledge exemplary progress and discuss how innovation, technology, and school and classroom remodeling is pushing the education envelope—all in the name of better outcomes for our youth.
“The Learning Counsel is helping education leaders chart a course that includes actionable data and current trends,” said Janell McClure, the director of Digital & Multimedia Learning from Cobb County School District. “These awards share incredible examples of innovative thinking. The knowledge we’ve gained at this Gathering event will guide our work as we continue to strive for excellence in teaching and learning through digital platforms, tools, and practices.”
The national awards were made possible through sponsorship from Ruckus Wireless. As schools like these go truly digital, they need resilient WiFi. With so many types of mobile devices integrated into a student’s learning process, schools need a WiFi network that can handle a high density of devices with speed and reliability.
LeiLani Cauthen, the CEO and Publisher of the Learning Counsel, shared when she spoke at the Gathering that, while on the road this year visiting 29 different cities she observed more schools running “smack into the issue of digital curriculum coverage models,” and “face-planting into the issue of classroom implementation.” She said that every city had Superintendents and other school administration staff worried about how to get every teacher transitioned more fully, taking digital learning objects “out of the shadows” and into core curriculum use.
While it is common to find districts with decently established infrastructure and devices, 1-to-1 (one device for every student) or BYOD (bring your own device), what is happening with teachers is far from well executed with regards to software oversight. “By survey, teachers are spending upwards of twenty-five percent of their time just trying to find content to fit the additional changes in standards and testing. In the meantime, technology and digital content collections continue to grow into realms that individual teachers and even IT Departments can’t hope to keep up with,” stated Cauthen.
“With our Special Reports and the discussions we hold in every city and at the national Gathering, we help define and guide leaders, have all attendees discuss their best practices, share solutions, and make sure to appropriately laud superlative districts for their hard work. At the end of every event we have everyone thank each other for what they have been doing – because we find that these executives rarely get that pat on the back from their own peers in other schools and districts who know exactly what leaders go through in K12 education. At the Gathering we especially make a big deal with a lot of glitz and glam for the best-of-the-best who fly in from across the U.S. It’s our great honor to do that for these hard-working schools.”
(Next page: The 12 winning districts for innovative digital curriculum strategies)