New National Council on Digital Convergence Created

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Council to Advance Awareness, Research, Share Best Practices, and Recognize and Reward Successful School Districts in Support of K-12 Transition to Modern Classrooms

The new National Council on Digital Convergence has been announced by its founding members, who include a cross-section of K-12 administrators from urban, suburban and rural school districts from across the midwest and east coast with depth and breadth of expertise, as well as a passion, to help schools transition from traditional classrooms to modern learning environments. The Council, a Modern Teacher-sponsored initiative, will leverage the voices of its members to collect feedback from the field and raise awareness of the need for digital convergence, determine and promote best practices, as well as recognize and reward school districts that are progressing on their paths toward digital convergence.

Individuals were selected for the Council because they have played pivotal roles as leaders developing modern learning environments within their districts, and throughout the country. The members’ applicable experiences include establishing leadership practices that support the work of digital convergence, creating instructional pedagogies and assessments for the modern learning environments, developing curriculum that support competency-based and personalized learning, establishing an ecosystem that facilitates seamless access to digital resources, and developing professional learning programs that teach 21st Century teaching skills and competencies.

Specific Council goals include:
1) Establish awareness of the need for digital convergence and share experience and expertise.
2) Review the structure by which to assess digital convergence models from school districts throughout the country and make recommendations for standardization.
3) Determine a baseline for digital convergence and track progress nationwide.
4) Recognize and reward school districts that successfully are transitioning to modern classrooms.

“Successful digital convergence includes a host of considerations that K-12 school districts should address, including leadership, instructional models, modern curriculum, digital ecosystem and professional learning,” said Shawn Smith, Ed.D., Council At-Large Member and president of Modern Teacher. “As technology continues to evolve, the Council will closely track what is working best on a national platform, and continually define and redefine the best way for K-12 school districts to achieve digital convergence.”

Among the many topics that the Council will discuss include best practices for districts on how to lead the transition toward digital convergence through engagement and a shared vision, develop modern curriculum that enhance learning through technology, transform teaching to support the shift in the delivery of education, develop infrastructure to interconnect and integrate digital resources, provide professional learning to teachers and other stakeholders to transform teaching and learning for the 21st Century, and assess what methods are most successful. The Council will meet every quarter, with the next meeting scheduled for January.

The Council also is releasing its first “State of the Industry” report, which outlines the stories of four school districts that successfully are transitioning to the modern learning environment. More information about the key takeaways from the industry report is available.

Elected Council meeting officers include:
● Chairman: David Richards, Ph.D., Superintendent of Fraser Public Schools located in Fraser, Michigan
● Secretary: J.R. Proctor, Ed.D., Superintendent of Axtell Independent School District, of Axtell, Texas
● At-Large Member: Shawn Smith, Ed.D., President, Modern Teacher

For a complete list of the 10 Council members, click here.

The Council also will identify additional members, including research partners and technology companies, to provide resources and support for its digital convergence efforts.

To learn more about transitioning traditional classrooms into modern learning environments, school districts can take a brief survey to assess themselves against the framework that successfully has guided other districts nationwide. Information also is available about the barriers to the modern learning environment.

About Modern Teacher
Modern Teacher partners with districts to support the transition from traditional classrooms to modern learning environments. The organization is an educational technology company designed to provide a research-based methodology for Digital Convergence in education. The organization has created a technology-enabled solution to support districts in leveraging today’s tools across K-12 classrooms. For more information, visit http://www.modernteacher.com.

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Kellie Kennedy

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