Countdown to Digital Schools: Florida School Leaders Invited to Meet with Digital Learning Pioneers as State Prepares for Shift Away from Paper-based Textbooks

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Pearson-sponsored Orlando Symposium Brings Together National and Florida School Districts Leading Digital Transformation


With the countdown underway to Florida’s launch of digital learning and away from paper-based textbooks, school officials from around the state are invited to work Monday in Orlando with national and state school district leaders who have made the transition to the new digital classrooms.

Florida school district leaders already are working hard to begin making the move to digital with a state law requiring school systems to spend 50 percent of their annual instructional materials budget on digital content by 2015. On Monday in Orlando, some of the Florida school district leaders working on that transition will have face-to-face talks with school superintendents from Alabama and North Carolina whose districts have shifted to digital learning, along with other national leaders on the issue, in a special conference arranged by the Pearson education company. The principal of a new St. Augustine, FL, school where students work with digital learning programs instead of traditional paper-based textbooks also will speak at the conference.

The Florida school district leaders will work with Dr. Casey Wardynski, superintendent of the Huntsville, AL school system, the largest school district in America to have moved to digital learning materials all in one school year, starting last August. The Florida educators also will work with a recognized pioneer in the shift to digital learning, Mark Edwards, superintendent of North Carolina’s Mooresville Graded School District, which made the commitment to jump to digital learning six years ago. And Principal Don Campbell of Palencia Elementary School in St. Augustine, a new digital school, will work with his colleagues from around the state on the issue of creating personalized learning environments for students.

“The school district and state leaders in Florida are doing an outstanding job preparing for this shift to digital learning. Florida’s leadership deserves great credit for taking the bold step statewide toward this major change in how students learn in the classroom every day,” said Scott Drossos, Senior Vice President for Pearson 1:1 Learning, sponsor of the Monday conference in Orlando that is free for all educators. “To help further the great work that already is being done in Florida, we are bringing together some nationally respected leaders and Florida digital pioneers to be a resource for Florida leaders as they continue their work.”

The session is scheduled Monday, January 28, at the Westin Orlando Imagine, 9501 Universal Boulevard, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The special conference is being held in conjunction with the Florida Educational Technology Conference, which starts the same day.

Huntsville’s Superintendent Wardynski last month was named national Tech Leader of the Year by Tech & Learning magazine for his efforts in the district’s conversion to digital learning this school year. Edwards, the Mooresville, NC, superintendent who was one of the first education travelers to the new digital frontier, advises school districts and state leaders around the country about the digital conversion.

At Monday’s work session, educators will learn about how districts are funding the move to digital learning, how they are tackling such issues as lack of internet access in homes and insufficient wireless capacity at schools, and how they are helping teachers make the big transition from textbooks to digital instructional materials. The session will focus on why a “personalized learning environment” is essential, how to communicate with and involve parents and the community, and what kinds of digital devices are being used in schools and why.

About Pearson
Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, has global reach and market-leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing (NYSE: PSO).

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