Future Ready Schools, which is led by the Alliance for Excellent Education, helps school district leaders nationwide develop and implement sustainable, forward-thinking plans for pairing effective technology deployment with quality teaching. A key component of the effort is the Future Ready Interactive Planning Dashboard, a free online tool to help school districts assess their needs and make data-informed decisions on how to effectively use technology to engage students, empower teachers, and improve learning outcomes.
A related effort, announced last month, is a free massive open online course for educators (MOOC-Ed) on “Leading the Digital Learning Transition: Creating Future Ready Schools.” The course, which is being conducted by the Friday Institute for Educational Leadership at North Carolina State University in partnership with the Alliance, will help participants understand the potential of digital learning in K–12 schools; assess progress and set future goals for their school or district; and develop a plan to achieve their digital learning goals.
The course is designed for school and district leaders, library media specialists, lead teachers, university faculty, consultants, parents, and others involved in planning and implementing K–12 digital learning initiatives.
The course is organized around the Future Ready Schools digital learning framework, which is shown in the graphic to the right. This framework shows the digital learning transition (DLT) “Vision-Plan-Implement-Assess” cycle around the seven DLT planning elements (budget and resources; use of time; curriculum, instruction, and assessment; technology and hardware; data and privacy; community partnerships; and professional learning)—all of which are centered on improving student learning. It also shows, in the outer circle, that leadership is critical throughout the transition process.
The course is open to public, charter, and private schools. It is recommended that individuals sign up as a team from schools, districts, or organizations, but individuals are welcome to participate on their own if a team is not available. However, the course is not intended for individual classroom teachers who are focused on learning how to use technology in their classrooms.
The DLT MOOC-Ed consists of five units scheduled over eight weeks. It begins on September 28 and ends on November 22. For individuals who need more time to complete their work, the course will remain open to complete activities until December 31 and course resources will remain available online until March 31, 2016.
Before beginning the course, it is recommended that teams or individuals complete the optional Future Ready Schools district assessment survey; the information in the survey report will connect the course to participants’ specific school or district.
More information on the MOOC-Ed, including registration information, is available at https://place.fi.ncsu.edu/course/view.php?id=11.