New report highlights digital learning models

States’ digital learning programs, efforts are profiles in a report from SETDA and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation

digital-learningThe State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at N.C. State’s College of Education have co-released a national report highlighting examples of digital learning across various states.

As State Digital Learning Exemplars National Report: Highlights from states leading change through policies and funding reveals, states are striving to support the expansion of technology tools and resources in K-12 education through state policies, programs and funding in order to provide digital learning opportunities for all students.

The paper highlights examples of states with policies in support of 5 key areas: innovative funding streams and policy, digital content, human capacity, network infrastructure and data management and privacy.

Next page: Additional areas for consideration

“This report will be of great value to policymakers and educators as they seek to support the changes in schooling needed to prepare today’s students to be successful in the global, digital, interconnected, rapidly changing world. The Friday Institute is pleased to have contributed to preparing this report,” shared Glenn Kleiman, Executive Director, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, NC State’s College of Education.

Other critical areas for consideration also emerged, including:

State Investment in funding and policy: States leading in digital learning have stable funding streams which sustainably fund digital learning statewide. However, many also have other, more flexible streams of money available to districts ready for innovation. These more flexible funds often provide policy flexibility to support the innovation.

Digital Content: Leaders in digital content have allowed for flexibility in terms of what “content” means. Policies permit districts to purchase various types of digital content and have in place high-quality, vetted repositories to share OER and other digital content with all teachers. Digital learning has evolved to include more dynamic resources that allow students to both consume material and to produce.

Development of Human Capacity: Professional learning for leaders at the state, district, school, and classroom level is imperative for the transition to digital-age learning. States who are successfully building capacity are doing so through innovative programs that establish partnerships and build on local expertise. Further, these leaders are building buy-in by creating a shared vision which drives all learning.

Systemic Approach to Networks and Infrastructure: Network infrastructure is necessary but not sufficient to digital learning. State leaders must think strategically about how to maximize resources to provide equitable access to devices and to ensure adequate infrastructure for digital learning. They must also plan to ensure that the technology supports excellent teaching practices.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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