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OER Implementation Sparks National Interest


“The Utah State Office of Education is proud to be a state leader in supporting OER for our schools and districts. OER materials provide our teachers with the ability to customize content for the specific needs of their classes. The use of OER encourages collaboration among educators and is often more cost effective than traditional textbooks.”  Brad C. Smith, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Utah

Open Educational Resources (OER) support has gained national attention recently, including U.S. Department of Education’s Secretary Duncan’s trip yesterday to Williamsfield Community Unified School District in Illinois to share progress on their shift to digital and open educational resources (OER). The district is implementing OER content from EngageNY and purchased devices for students with the savings from instructional materials. In addition, Secretary Duncan announced that Andrew Marcinek will serve in the Department’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) as the first “Advisor for Open Education.”

SETDA applauds ED’s support for advancing OER. SETDA has a track record of advocating for OER including developing resources and collaborating with others in support of OER. SETDA is a supporting partner of the K12 OER Collaborative and in August, joined over 100 other organizations signing a letter calling on the White House to ensure that educational materials created with federal funds are openly licensed and released to the public as OER. SETDA has published multiple policy briefs in support of OER and most recently published the OER in Action Case Studies. The Case Studies highlight the importance of state leadership in the shift to implementing OER and include details about implementation.

Trends toward implementing OER are increasing as educators leverage the ability to personalize learning for students. “I don’t feel trapped by the textbook. Instead, as a teacher, I can create the digital curriculum in the way the works best for my students,” states Tracy Poulsen, Nebo School District, Utah.

Want to learn more? Visit SETDA’s OER Case Studies for multiple resources and details on OER definitions, development, vetting and implementation.

Roadmap Supports building Digital Learning Environments



Cable Impacts, the Partnership for 21st Century Learning and SETDA collaborated to develop the Building Your Roadmap to 21st Century Learning Environments,

The Roadmap is a resource created specifically for school leaders, designed to them help craft a holistic strategy to create 21st century learning environments – classrooms where, in addition to traditional subjects like math, English and science, crucial skills like critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration are practiced, where learning is personalized, adaptive and even self-directed, and where students are ultimately equipped with skills needed for college, careers and life-long learning. The Roadmap consists of a website that provides school leaders with a framework for developing their own strategic plans, a report written by Dr. James Marshall of San Diego State University that takes a deeper dive into the details and research, and an infographic that visualizes the planning process.

The Roadmap is built around a deep dive into five interconnected topic areas: Learning, Teaching & Professional Learning, Assessment & Accountability, Leadership & Culture, and Infrastructure. In each topic, three stages of change are explored, guiding principles established, key questions asked, policies considered, exemplars researched and action steps agreed on.


The primary audience for the Roadmap project is the senior leadership at districts for whom the Roadmap can provide

  • guidance to help structure strategic planning;
  • research, data and best practice examples to inform the resulting plan; and
  • third-party affirmation for what they’re doing.

Leaders can use parts of the project deliverables with policymakers, parents and the press to help them grasp where the district is doing well and where help may be needed, to illustrate the holistic nature of this kind of systemic change, and to highlight the need for adequate time and resources to support change. Take a few moments to review this resource and share the links with your colleagues.


Looking for the Best Sources of Content for Ed Tech ?

Ed Tech Update has the answer…

ETU_logoSETDA is excited to share Ed Tech Update. This site and newsletter brings together the largest set of industry thought leaders writing about educational technology to support ed tech professionals.

Keeping up with experts publishing content all over the web is a challenge; it’s nearly impossible to keep track of all the sources. And, even if you were able to identify and subscribe to them all, you’d have to wade through a ton of content every day to figure out what is the best and most relevant content for you.

Ed Tech Update pulls that rabbit out of the hat by…

  • Pulling together content from the WIDEST set of the most relevant sources;
  • Personalizing the content, once registered you see by using your LinkedIn profile, what you share on Twitter, what you click on either on the site or the newsletter, and what topics you tell it are the most relevant based on your interests;
  • Reviewing what Ed Tech professionals are reading, sharing, saving, etc. to figure out what is the most relevant, at that and every moment and highlights those sources;
  • Delivering great content through a personalized newsletter and on a site where thousands of articles are archived and easy to search.

The more you read and share, the better Ed Tech Update gets at delivering you EXACTLY the information that’s most important for you. The top leaders in the field give you their thoughts, insights and information on what is going on in the world of educational technology.

Sound a bit like MAGIC? The technical person behind Ed Tech Update was the original CTO for eHarmony.

Click here to see today’s hottest stories in the world of Ed Tech and to register for customized content.

Need Digital Learning Resources? Leverage SETDA’s Guide to Implementing Digital Learning

GIDL_300x300Successful digital learning implementation can meet a broad range of goals, including supporting the academic needs of students to ensure that they are college and career ready. As districts strive to implement or upgrade students’ digital learning experiences, a variety of factors impact implementation including planning, professional learning, software and digital content, infrastructure, devices, pedagogy and technology support. If you are in search of resources to support the shift to digital learning, SETDA’s Guide to Implementing Digital Learning (GIDL) provides guidance for schools and districts to consider as they heighten their focus to ensure smooth implementation of digital learning. In addition, this resource includes proven resources and digital learning examples from across the nation.

The Guide to Implementing Digital Learning is a free web-based resource to support school and district leaders as they work to ensure investments in digital learning spark positive results. GIDL includes six topic areas: planning, professional learning, content and software, broadband, devices and tech support. Each topic’s section includes background information, key considerations for implementation, resources and exemplars of digital learning in action.

On January 15, SETDA hosted a public webinar to explore how states and districts can empower and encourage educators to plan for and implement digital learning to improve students’ learning experiences. Presenters shared state examples of initiative that support digital learning implementation and how they will leverage GIDL. To access the webinar archive and resources, visit

Visit the new the Guide to Implementing Digital Learning website and use the wide range of resources and materials and share them with your colleagues in curriculum, assessment, instructional materials and IT.

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