captureWith the sponsorship of Modern Teacher, the National Council on Digital Convergence is releasing its first “State of the Industry Report on Digital Convergence” – a body of research that explores the compelling work of four innovative school districts in their transition to the modern learning environment. The Report serves as a vital resource for K-12 leaders, educators, and other stakeholders beginning or already engaged in the work of Digital Convergence. Following are eight must-know insights from the Report:

1. Leadership Matters Most to Digital Convergence

Digital Convergence begins with leadership. Setting the tone from the top, creating a shared vision, engaging stakeholders – these are just a few of the many leadership priorities that make the transition to modern learning environments a success.

2. Instructional Models Need a Modern Lens

Traditional pedagogy and assessments are inadequate and ineffective in the modern learning environment. School districts must rethink and redesign instruction and assessments to ensure high levels of rigor and relevance.

3. Modern Curriculum Personalizes and Individualizes Learning, While Maintaining Accountability

Technology has made it possible to remove the boundaries of the traditional school system. School districts must design curriculum to support the capabilities of self-paced, personalized learning while ensuring students are accountable and receive proper remediation when needed.

4. Digital Resources Provide the Most Value When Interconnected, Interdependent, Integrated, and Supported

School districts must develop processes, infrastructure, and a network to ensure digital resources are interconnected, interdependent, and integrated to provide equitable access to a seamless, consistent user experience.

5. Professional Learning Must Equip Leaders and Educators with 21st Century Skills and Competencies by Providing More Comprehensive Education in the Context of the Modern Learning Environment

School districts must provide teachers and staff with education that goes beyond feature-function training and targets how to perform effectively in a 21st Century learning environment. Just as students should receive self-paced, personalized learning experiences, so too should staff.

6. Single-Point Solutions Prevent Digital Convergence

School districts are overwhelmed by the number of vendors and technology flooding the K-12 education space. Learning management systems, devices, digital content – as single-point solutions, they alone cannot ensure a school system effectively transforms the traditional classroom into a modern learning environment. Instead, school systems must approach the transition to 21st Century teaching and learning in a fundamentally systematic and comprehensive manner.

7. Progress in the Digital Convergence Framework Follows a Unique Pattern

The Digital Convergence Framework helps leaders, educators, staff, and other stakeholders to prioritize action items across key areas of work. The Framework is especially useful as the work of Digital Convergence follows a non-linear shape. Leadership, the most fundamental Driver of Digital Convergence, must lead the overall progress, while the remaining areas of work should remain relatively uniform. Unbalanced progress across the five areas of work prevents school districts from approaching Digital Convergence systematically.

8. Tracking and Measuring Against Success Indicators is Vital to Achieving Optimal Outcomes

School districts must prioritize the work of transitioning to modern learning environments. Identifying, measuring against, and sustaining key priorities across the organization are vital to successful outcomes.

By accounting the impressive and ongoing journeys of four school districts, this year’s Report highlights the common challenges all school districts face and outlines unique strategies every district leader, educator, and staff member should consider. The National Council on Digital Convergence releases the State of the Industry Report each year. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us.