[Photo Gallery from the 2016 National Gathering]
The recipients of the Learning Counsel Digital Curriculum Strategy Award for 2016 included:
Broward County Public Schools (Ft. Lauderdale, FL): Awarded due to their work to develop specific grade-level content (in the lower grades) and courses with appropriate full scope and sequence (in the higher grades) that ensure a high-quality, rigorous, standards-based curriculum for any teacher, in any classroom, at any of their schools. The district is also working to personalize learning with open educational resources and innovative publishers by curating and procuring adaptive curriculum that can identify levels of student capability and prescribe pathways for learning that meet the unique needs of each student. This approach is showing great gains in learning for Broward students.
Buckeye Union High School District (Buckeye, AZ): Awarded for their district-wide Get Connected initiative aimed at transforming teaching and learning. Get Connected is about “connecting” stakeholders to create a dynamic learning experience for today’s 21st-century learner. In the second year of the initiative, teachers can more effectively facilitate instruction and personalize learning in real time, manage curriculum and assessments, gather and evaluate valid and reliable data, collaborate with their peers both locally and across the nation, deepen and enhance the learning process, and engage Buckeye’s digitally connected students.
Cobb County Public Schools (Marietta, GA): Cobb County was awarded for their “Cobb Commitment to Student Success,” initiative which promises that teaching and learning will include the Cobb Teaching and Learning Standards, balanced instructional practices, student progress monitoring, and learning engagement strategies. In support of the Commitment, the district redesigned the content acquisition process, formerly known as “textbook adoption,” to allow for more flexibility in selecting core and supplemental resources including Open Educational Resources (OER), customized publisher packages, and locally developed resources. The achievements of their students are a living example of the initiative’s success.
Forsyth County Public Schools (Cumming, GA): Awarded for their Bring Your Own Technology Program. This initiative has led to new thinking about the tools students use. Forsyth County Public Schools has seen dramatic increases in engagement and outcomes by allowing students to choose the tools they want and need to direct their own learning. Hardware and software tools chosen by students in this way is like how many commercial organizations now operate, which means that Forsyth students are being prepped to arrive with the job skill of adapting how they are individually using technology in a greater environment saturated with tech.
Katy Independent School District (Katy, TX): Awarded for their advanced work in creating a single sign-on portal that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on any device. Students access interactive content for consumption and rich media tools for contribution, creativity, and problem-solving. Katy ISD fosters an environment that inspires students to have a voice in their own learning through online collaboration, technology focus groups, and real-time digital feedback through blogs and virtual classrooms.
North Dakota Center for Distance Education (Fargo, ND): NDCDE was awarded for their work to ensure that all K-12 students in North Dakota are provided equal access to high-quality education. This is characterized by choice of courses, content currency, personalized learning, pedagogy reflecting the latest science, and assessment that seeks to measure mastery (competency). The result of this work is students consistently prepared for careers, continued education, and lifelong learning.
Rowan-Salisbury Schools (Salisbury, NC): Awarded for their outstanding work in a low-income district to provide all 17,000 3rd-12th -grade students with MacBook Airs or iPads for take home usage through its instructional transformation initiative. This initiative has allowed for the introduction and implementation of a comprehensive literacy framework, digital curricula, tech books, K-12 online digital citizenship curriculum, teacher-made instructional tools, and virtual professional development offerings. Through their instructional shift, driven by a strong strategic plan, Rowan-Salisbury Schools was recently removed from North Carolina’s Low Performing School District listing.
Seminole County Public Schools (Sanford, FL): Awarded for their commitment and passion to providing 24/7/365 equitable access to rigorous instructional content. Because of their thoughtful efforts, Seminole County students, teachers, and parents enjoy a robust suite of digital curriculum offerings anchored by a single sign-on portal, including blended and fully online courses in a learning management system, and access to dynamic web-based content from anywhere in the world. The result of this commitment to transformation are students with increasingly bettered competency and outcomes on assessments.
Tampa Preparatory School (Tampa, FL): Awarded for their vision to create a flexible learning environment. Every classroom is equipped with innovative technologies and ergonomic furniture with the mobility of bumper cars, which gets students out of their seats and learning in new, creative ways. These “Active Learning Environments” (ALEs) reflect our changing world and are in line with what the Learning Counsel says is the end-point of the transformation with “Expositional Centers of Learning”, where teachers and textbook content are no longer the sole sources of learning – the environment is a sort of learning mechanism itself. With multiple touch-enabled projectors in each ALE, walls are transformed into interactive presentation spaces.
Union County Public Schools (Monroe, NC): Awarded for having the largest 1:1 digital learning program in the state of North Carolina. With the expansion of 1:1 into grades 3 through 5, there are now more than 34,000 Chromebooks in the hands of students from grades 3 through 12. Their transformative initiative has also focused on the professional development of teachers to provide students with a personalized learning experience to increase student motivation. They refer to this as the “My Size Fits Me” learning culture. In the last school year, the district had one of North Carolina’s highest cohort graduation rates, exceeding 93%.
USD 331 Kingman-Norwich (Kingman, KS): Awarded for their District Strategic Success Plan. Eight years ago, the district proposed a goal that all students would have access to current technology, with always up-to-date, high-quality digital resources that are actively being utilized. This goal was the vital component of the District Strategic Success Plan and drives district expenditures on technology. The district is advancing on its goal spectacularly and proving that its investment is paying off for its learners and instructors.
Vancouver Public Schools (Vancouver, WA): Awarded for Vancouver’s digital curriculum integration strategy, which is grounded in its instructional framework, the “5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning,” from the University of Washington’s Center for Educational Leadership. From this foundation, digital curriculum integration decisions serve the VPS Vision for Learning, promoting student ownership of learning through communicating, creating, collaborating, and critical thinking. Teachers at VPS serve as designers of engaging and rigorous student learning experiences.
Material from a press release was used in this report.