Growing Up Digitally in High School

Growing Up Digitally in High School

Last month I had the opportunity to share options for digital learning that opens doors for high school students from the early freshman year to college ready senior year. Often, we think of digital courseware as a solution to a single problem; typically credit recovery or within alternative education. Having courseware opens numerous opportunities. Check out the Apex Learning Personalized Learning webinar: Think Outside the Box – Moving Beyond Credit Recovery. When designing digital learning environments, teacher preparation is just as important as student readiness. Personally, I’m a huge fan of “go slow, to go fast.” This means start with something small, something easy for both students and teachers. Use a tiny pilot. Watch it closely, refine as needed. Set everyone – the students, the teachers, the digital courseware – up for success. Since the digital content is new to both students and teachers, think of ways to create a learning environment that allows for familiarity with as little pressure as necessary. For example, elective classes can be fun and engaging, typically requiring less homework. Given a choice, start with electives. Freshman year is an ideal place to have students experience digital success with an online elective, embedded in an advisory type blended environment. Digital courseware can be introduced in a blended classroom by using the CIA model of blended learning, where teachers have a full understanding and embrace a balanced approach to digital curriculum, guided instruction, and authentic assessment.  Blended classrooms are an ideal way to introduce students to taking ownership of their own learning, in a nurturing environment. Students still have a structured learning environment and see...
Path to Digital Learning

Path to Digital Learning

On April 1st, I had the pleasure to enjoy and present at the Blended Personalized Learning Conference in Rhode Island. In preparation for the sharing of the 10 Digital Learning Models (book coming this summer), I was interviewed by Nick DiNardo in a “Meet Education Project” Podcast. Listen to the 30 minute Podcast #173 In the podcast, you will hear my passion for digital learning. The passion that drove me to create i3DigitalPD with a desire to share all that I have learned over the past fifteen plus years. It made me reflect upon my path to digital learning, from my early beginnings in 2000 when working with eighth grade recovery students, to building the first fully online public high school in Clark County in 2007 (graduating class of seven), though the failure of big money high school reform which did not change the way students learned, and growing in my belief that digital learning changes the classroom for the betterment of teachers and students. Prior to the conference, we visited several schools embracing blended personalized learning. One elementary school was in the early adoption phases, with a small handful of teachers testing the waters with personalized digital learning in grades three and five. A middle school was working to fine tune blended learning by adding a learning management system and digital content. An exemplar elementary school, three years into blended personalized learning, had a thoughtful leader and focused staff who had a data-driven polished rotation model in place. Each school was at a different place, yet all were seeing the positive effects of digital learning and looking to...