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7 Key Points for Transforming Learning Environments with Technology

Incorporating technology into traditional classroom practices is beneficial, but digital media has a greater effect on learning if educators use it to transform the school environment into a digital learning culture, according to a new paper from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).

The paper, "7 Keys to Unlocking School Transformation with Digital Media," is the result of the Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership and Policy initiative, which involved leaders from innovative school districts around the country.

Schools highlighted in the paper have transformed their teaching and learning environments through initiatives such as switching to an entirely digital curriculum at one school, while another school adopted a project- or inquiry-based learning approach to promote student-centered learning for improved engagement.

Other key points for transforming learning environments with technology:

  • Stakeholders, including students, parents, all school staff, and community members, must be actively involved in developing, supporting, and maintaining a transformed learning culture;
  • School district policies must support the transformation to a digital learning culture;
  • School districts must be committed to the goal of digital learning environments for all students rather than individual classrooms;
  • Continuous professional development that is considered part of the job for teachers and administrators is critical to supporting learning with digital media;
  • Transforming teaching and learning through technology requires the support of school boards; and
  • Teacher education programs must be updated so new teachers can learn the skills required to implement digital learning in the classroom.

Details about each of the key points is available in the paper, "7 Keys to Unlocking School Transformation with Digital Media" is available as a free PDF download from the CoSN site.

Other papers developed as part of the Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership and Policy initiative include "Rethinking Acceptable Use Policies to Enable Digital Learning: A Guide for School Districts," and "Making Progress: Rethinking State and School District Policies Concerning Mobile Technologies and Social Media," both of which are also available as free PDF downloads from the CoSN site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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