Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

3 Years to Digital Transformation and Success

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

3 Years to Digital Transformation and Success

Article excerpt

It takes about three years to go from "Please don't make me do this" to "I could never go back the old way." But what does the transformation look like from start to finish and in between? Marie Bjerede of the Consortium for School Networking examines the various stages.

THE TRANSFORMATION to digital teaching and learning typically takes three years. What does this transformation look like in years 1, 2, 3 and beyond? It depends on what a district does to prepare before even beginning. Depending on the size and culture of a district, it is common and appropriate to start planning for the digital leap 12 to 18 months in advance.

CoSN, the Consortium for School Networking, has developed a framework that outlines the conditions for transformation success. (See the June/July 2016 issue of THE Journal.) The framework is accompanied by a rubric that identifies what each of these areas looks like at the following stages: considering, basic, emerging and transformational.

In many cases, the "basic" level can be considered "year 1" and the "transformational" level as "year 3." However, some conditions must be in piace much earlier in the process.

YEAR 0: Before beginning a digital leap, the planning process must result in a clear, shared vision for teaching and learning supported by technology. Without a "true north" for decision making, the day-to-day efforts of accelerating and leading the digital leap will be scattered in different directions.

It is also important to have a brand for the initiative. It should have a name and a compelling story that can be shared with parents, students, the community and the press.

YEAR 1: Not only should there be a clear, shared vision in place, but schools must have autonomy in achieving it. To structure that autonomy, the district must establish initial goals, along with the metrics that allow schools to measure their progress.

Year 1 is a critical time to ensure that professional development is in place. Not only do teachers need to gain familiarity with digital tools, they also need to learn how to use them to support a student-centered classroom. Schools should encourage professional development through various formats, including social media, blended learning and face-to-face or shoulder-to-shoulder coaching.

For year 1, infrastructure should support the initial rollout of devices to students. The FCC and ConnectEd program set a goal of 1 Mbps per student. …

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