Digital learning MOOC now open to school leaders

Participants will study the elements necessary for a successful digital learning transition.

Enrollment opens today for a first-of-its-kind Massive Online Open Course for Educators (MOOC-Ed) that will help school district leaders make the shift to digital instruction in their schools.

This free online course is offered by the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) in partnership with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University. A component of AEE’s “Project 24” initiative and the first of a series of MOOC-Eds planned by the Friday Institute, the course was first announced during Digital Learning Day in February.

Titled “Digital Learning Transition,” the course will examine how the effective use of digital learning can help school districts meet educational challenges, including implementing college- and career-ready standards for all students and preparing teachers to make effective use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.

Running from April 8 through May 24, the seven-week course is designed for school and district leaders, including superintendents, principals, curriculum directors, technology directors, financial officers, instructional coaches, lead teachers, and others involved in planning and implementing K-12 digital learning initiatives. Participants should expect to commit between two and four hours each week, but there will be opportunities for those who want to invest more time and explore issues more deeply, AEE says.

Participants will study the elements necessary for a successful digital learning transition, develop a set of goals for digital learning aligned with desired student outcomes, and create an action plan to meet these goals.

(Next page: More information about the course)

“By participating in this ground-breaking effort, educators can experience first-hand how digital learning can change teaching and improve learning,” said Bob Wise, AEE president and former governor of West Virginia. “At the same time, they will develop a valuable plan for how to take their school or district through a digital learning transition.”

Throughout the course, participants will have access to experts who have successfully implemented digital learning efforts that are supporting teachers and boosting student achievement. Because the course will operate on such a massive scale—literally thousands of district leaders can participate—participants also will benefit from “crowdsourcing,” a collaborative experience that uses the “wisdom of the crowd” to discuss ideas, share strategies and resources, and exchange constructive feedback with other participants in similar roles and schools, AEE says.

Each of the seven course sessions will include core resources and supplemental materials around a specific topic, while allowing for personalization and flexibility. Participants are expected to navigate their own paths, consistent with their own goals and the needs of their school or district, while being supported and guided by the facilitators, resources, and fellow participants.

Anyone interested in the course can get more information or register at After registering, participants are encouraged to take Project 24’s free online self-assessment to help frame a vision for digital learning and specify how technology can help align efforts to achieve college- and career-ready standards. Upon completing the self-assessment, participants will receive a personalized report analyzing their district’s progress in integrating technology into instruction.

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