Lan Neugent
Interim Executive Director
202-715-6636 x706
[email protected]


SETDA Launches Navigating the Digital Shift: Mapping the Acquisition of Digital Instructional Materials

Educators Stress the Importance of State Leadership, Transparency for Procurement and Flexible Budgeting to Transform Learning in the Digital Age


October 26, 2015 (Washington, D.C.) – SETDA, the principal membership association of the U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders, today announced the launch of Navigating the Digital Shift: Mapping the Acquisition of Digital Instructional Materials report. As states and districts shift towards the implementation of digital instructional materials, the report provides information and guidance on the acquisition process. Digital instructional materials should not be purchased in a vacuum and essential conditions such as device access, accessibility and interoperability are important factors to consider. Navigating the procurement process is cited as one of the primary challenges for states and districts, and one that proves even more challenging to the companies that want to sell digital instructional materials to them.

“Transforming teaching and learning and providing access to digital instructional materials, both on and off campus is critical for all students,” shared Lan Neugent, Interim Executive Director, SETDA. “This work can potentially impact policy changes related to procuring instructional materials to best meet the ever changing individual needs of students in the digital age.”

SETDA’s research revealed that there are major shifts in state policy, as more states are requiring the implementation of digital instructional materials in the next five years. Legislators are now recognizing the benefits of digital learning and the new demand for instructional materials that are available to 21st century learners via devices anywhere, anytime.

“Washington state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction provides leadership for our schools and districts,” said Washington state superintendent Randy Dorn. “That includes instructional materials. We have a new landscape in our state. Materials can be printed or can be digital; they may include textbooks, technology-based materials or other educational media. And all could carry different licenses, from open to all rights reserved. To that end, we have created an OER library of reviewed materials to help support districts. We also have partnered with the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) to update sample school board instructional materials policies to better reflect 21st century instructional materials.”

“It is imperative that, as we design digitally based instructional opportunities, we take to heart Daniel Pink’s philosophy that ‘We need to prepare kids for their future, not our past,’ ” stated Dr. Jack Smith, Interim State Superintendent of Schools, Maryland State Department of Education.

Complementing this paper is the Digital Instructional Materials Acquisition Policies for States (DMAPS) website, which provides full profiles for each state’s instructional materials policies and practices and an interactive map to view national trends. The DMAPS site is available here:


Founded in 2001, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal non-profit membership association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders. Our mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. For more information, please visit:

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