To prepare future-ready students, schools must embrace and seize technology’s potential to make their learning experiences more engaging. Instruction can come through a variety of digital pathways that students can access anywhere, any time, and at any pace.
Digital integration means access to the right device for learning, the use of digital portfolios, and the adoption of virtual learning models (such as flipped classrooms, blended learning, and online courses). It also means incorporating digital resources (such as electronic textbooks and online collaborative tools).
The Vision: Digital Learning
Seizing technology’s potential to make student learning experiences more engaging is among the principles espoused in the visioning document Creating a New Vision for Texas Public Education.
Article I: The New Digital Learning Environment
Digitization and miniaturization of information processing power are expanding exponentially and are changing the world, our lives, and our communities at an overwhelming speed. To be viable, schools must adapt to this new environment. We must embrace and seize technology’s potential to capture the hearts and minds of this, the first digital generation, so that the work designed for them is more engaging and respects their superior talents with digital devices and connections.
- The technologies that make this new digital world possible must be viewed as opportunities and tools that can help us in educating and socializing the young both in and outside the school.
- The virtual social network connected and tech-savvy generation will not tolerate the one-size-fits-all mass production structures that limit learning to particular times and places and conventions.
- The potential of learning anywhere, anytime, “any path, any pace” must be embraced. Future learning will be a combination of learning at school, virtual learning, learning at home, and in the community.
- Schools must reach out to those who would educate at home or in small networks and welcome their involvement in the school community.
- Virtual learning should become the norm in every community to meet the needs of students who prefer such an environment.
- The secondary school credit system should be expanded beyond school walls so that any place/any time learning, including virtual learning, are equally valued and supported.
- We (families, schools, churches, youth organizations, etc.) cannot control access to information by the young and recognize that once existing boundaries no longer exist.
- Children and youth need role models and adult guidance and connections even more than in the pre-digital era, but the role of adults is different, becoming one that is more about facilitating understanding, raising questions, and designing engaging tasks that produce learning than lecturing and instructing.
- School leaders, including board members, must work to bring the public into conversations that are needed not just to support these transformations but to help shape them and create ownership.