(Sacramento, CA) November 18, 2015 -The Learning Counsel today released the results of its second annual survey of school and district digital curriculum strategy and transformation, sponsored by Sprint. At the leading edge of this extensive online survey—and something that hits home with parents and students everywhere—is the factor of homework policy. The survey found that only 35% of districts and schools have established policy on homework limitations.
This statistic shows there a majority of schools and districts do not control how much work students and parents are being overwhelmed with at home—and now that homework has gone digital, it’s easier than ever for teachers to load up students with too much work.
The survey found the number one intention of district executives when it came to digital curriculum transformation was “to achieve greater instructor effectiveness.”Last year’s top response was “to increase student engagement.” Other top responses from this year, in order of percentage, were 2) increased student engagement; 3) project-based learning for student instruction; 4) personalized learning; and 5) intervention for struggling students.
The five digital curriculum policy controls considered most important by district and school administrators were found to be: 1) providing technology training for teachers; 2) advocating personalized paths of learning using resources; 3) providing ongoing professional development opportunities for applying digital learning; 4) advocating moving to more or all digital content; and 5) providing technology training for students.
LeiLani Cauthen, CEO and publisher of the Learning Counsel, pointed out that many leading schools were past the “just give us anything to get started” phase, which is where many schools and districts unfortunately stand today. She said that even the top answer of technical training for teachers comes from national averages. Cutting-edge schools have been dealing with teacher technical professional development for many years in collaboration with top publishers and software suppliers. The survey response shows that the sheer volume of devices and personnel affected now are calling for a greater focus.
According to respondents, the top five barriers to adoption of digital curriculum are: 1) instructional design/curriculum design professional development; 2) digital curriculum systems training; 3) classroom pedagogy professional development; 4) inadequate budget to transition; and 5) teacher device use training.
“The national perspective that the Learning Counsel provides regarding digital transformation has proven invaluable as we have embarked on this journey,” said Janell McClure, Director of Digital and Multimedia Learning at Cobb County Schools (GA). “By sharing information, processes, and research that contribute to a successful transition, the Learning Counsel has helped education leaders chart a course that includes actionable data and current trends. The survey results guide our work as we continue to strive for excellence in teaching and learning through digital platforms, tools, and practices.”
The national assessment tool and survey were inspired by The Learning Counsel Digital Curriculum Strategy Discussion Meetings, held in cities across the U.S. “Every district and school executive, curriculum director or innovations specialist we met, no matter which city we were in, were running into similar frustrations, funding barriers, and PD problems,” said Dr. David Kafitz, VP of School Relationships and Consulting at the Learning Counsel. “Many districts and schools do not have comprehensive strategies. All types of random hardware products, subscription sites, apps, digital content, and systems are being used in an unaligned and disorganized manner.”
For more information about the Learning Counsel, please visit www.thelearningcounsel.com.
About The Learning Counsel
The Learning Counsel is a mission-based organization focused on helping education professionals in the K-12 sector gain context on the shift to digital curriculum. Serving as an intermediary between schools, curriculum publishers, and high tech companies, the Learning Counsel provides perspective and organizational tools on the transition to digital for school systems across the country.
The Learning Counsel Community thanks Sprint for their sponsorship of this survey and assessment. Their support in education research and development for the transition to digital curriculum and technology supports students nationwide.
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