Professional Development | News

North Carolina State U To Offer MOOC for School District Leaders

The Alliance for Excellent Education and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University have launched a massive open online course for educators (MOOC-Ed) called Digital Learning Transition, which is designed to help school district leaders develop a set of digital learning goals and strategies to meet the needs of their students.

The free course is part of the Alliance's "Project 24" initiative and is the first in a series of MOOC-Eds planned by the Friday Institute. The course is "designed for school and district leaders, including superintendents, principals, curriculum directors, technology directors, financial officers, instructional coaches, lead teachers, and others involved in planning and implementing K-12 digital learning initiatives," according to a news release from the Alliance.

The course will run from April 8 until May 24. It consists of seven sessions, each of which includes core resources and supplemental materials related to a specific topic. While the course is guided by facilitators, participants are expected to follow their own path consistent with their own goals and the needs of their school or district.

Topics covered in the course include:

  • How technology and the global information age affect what students need to know and how and when student learning can take place;
  • Elements necessary for a successful digital learning transition;
  • Development of a set of goals for digital learning aligned to desired student outcomes; and
  • Creation of an action plan to meet those goals.

"By participating in this ground-breaking effort, educators can experience first-hand how digital learning can change teaching and improve learning," said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, in a prepared statement. "At the same time, they will develop a valuable plan for how to take their school or district through a digital learning transition."

According to the Alliance, course participants "will have access digital learning experts who have successfully implemented digital learning efforts." They will also have the opportunity to share ideas and resources with other course participants through the course's collaborative professional learning community.

Before beginning the course, registered participants are encouraged to complete Project 24's free online self assessment, which is intended to help school district leaders "frame a vision for digital learning and specify how technology can help align efforts to achieve college- and career-ready standards." After completing the self assessment, participants will receive a personalized report analyzing their district's progress in implementing digital learning in the classroom.

School district leaders interested in the Digital Learning Transition MOOC-Ed can find more information and register for the course at

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].