Through the continued leadership of the Board of Directors and the dedication of our members and staff, during 2016 SETDA celebrated 15 years of leadership, hired a new permanant Executive Director ~ Dr. Tracy Weeks, published a new strategic plan, developed resources to advance learning in the digital age and provided opportunities for state leaders to collaborate with one another and with private sector industry leaders. Based on the needs of our members and partners, SETDA focused efforts on developing resources and provided support for ESSA, equity of access, digital instructional materials and the implementation of digital learning. SETDA continues to expand outreach including adding new Affiliate partners such as the State Instructional Materials Review Association (SIMRA) and KanRen and by providing technical assistance to state Title IIA leaders. SETDA looks forward to new opportunities to provide sustained support for state digital learning leaders. To stay up to date on SETDA’s latest work subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on Twitter @setda.
SETDA’s 2017-2020 strategic plan was adopted and released by the SETDA Board of Directors in October 2016 after extensive consultation with the membership and partners. SETDA looks forward to connecting with education leaders to implement the plan over the next three years.
Through out 2016, SETDA celebrated our 15th year which culminated with the Annual Awards Gala at the Leadership Summit in October. Take a moment to view SETDA resources and relationships “through the years”.
SETDA and Common Sense Kids Action‘s report, State K-12 Broadband Leadership: Driving Connectivity and Accesshighlights the powerful impact of state leadership in driving critical policy decisions at the national and state level to support broadband networks, bandwidth capacity and home access for low-income families. Educators, policy makers and the private sector will benefit from organized and accessible information regarding states’ broadband and wi-fi implementation for all 50 states, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands. The report focuses on these areas: K-12 Broadband and Wi-Fi Connectivity, State Leadership for Infrastructure, State Broadband Implementation Highlights, State Advocacy for Federal Support of Broadband.
As the year winds down, we reflect on our accomplishments from 2015. Needless to say, SETDA had a busy year! Through the continued leadership of the Board of Directors and the dedication of our members and staff, we’ve developed new reports, tools and publications to advance learning in the digital age. SETDA listened to the needs of our members and partners and focused efforts on developing resources around digital instructional materials, the implementation of digital learning, and equity of access. As we work together in our mission to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through policy and practice, we want to thank all of our wonderful SETDA members and partners for their knowledge and expertise. Keep reading to learn more about our 2015 resources and publications. We look forward to building on this work and new projects in 2016! To stay up to date on SETDA’s latest work subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on Twitter @setda.
OER Case Studies. This online series of open educational resources (OER) case studies website supports SETDA’s work focused on digital instructional materials and offers a deep look into how these materials are implemented in a variety of educational settings.
Digital Instructional Materials Acquisition Policies for States (DMAPS). A unique online portal, the DMAPs is an online database providing state and territory policies and practices related to the acquisition of digital instructional materials in K-12 education. There is an interactive heat map so that users can view national trends as well as individual state profiles and exemplars.
E-rate Modernization Resources. SETDA and Common Sense Kids Action developed a toolkit for state and local policymakers and digital leaders as they navigate the modernized E-rate program.
State Digital Learning Exemplars. SETDA and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation co-released this national report highlighting states with policies in support of 5 key areas: innovative funding streams and policy, digital content, human capacity, network infrastructure, and data management and privacy.
EdTech Update This site and newsletter brings together the widest set of industry thought leaders and uses what the audience does with the content both collectively and individually to deliver the most interesting and relevant content to each reader. The Update condenses the latest and best thinking from hundreds of sources, including top bloggers.
Since SETDA’s seminal 2012 resource, Out of Print: Reimagining the K-12 Textbook in the Digital Age, traditionalists take comfort in the fact that in spite of proliferation of digital content and open educational resources, plus national and state groups supporting digital learning, these digital tools are still very, very slowly making their way into the classroom. Just why is this happening at such a slow pace? Well for one thing, the tradition of using hard copy textbooks is a contributing factor. Bound texts that align content to meet state standards are assumed to suffice. Next, the elements to support the transition to digital learning, including bandwidth, devices and teacher training can be barriers as schools and districts need time to transition budgets and to build the infrastructure to support digital learning. Lastly, the pressure on teachers to meet accreditation standards, as well as for students to meet learning standards, is another issue that does not foster an environment that encourages taking a chance on change.
SETDA believes that several key factors can be put in place to help increase the use of digital resources in the classroom. States should create and foster policies and procedures that are friendly to the identification, acquisition and use of these resources. In a 2015 survey, SETDA found that about 50% of states have put in place policies that offer flexibility for use, funding and acquisition of digital content.
In an effort to support the understanding of state policies and practices related to digital instructional materials, SETDA launched the Digital Instructional Materials Acquisitions for States (DMAPS) portal, a free online tool for educators, policy makers and the private sector. Site users will benefit from organized and accessible information regarding acquisition of digital instructional materials, including information about state guidance and policies, procurement, funding and digital learning resources for all 50 states, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands. SETDA hopes that as leaders consider updating or crafting new polices that they use the DMAPS tool to leverage the examples of policies and acquisition procedures that other states have put in place to support digital learning to best meet the individual needs of students. Site highlights include: a snapshot overview of policies/practices for each state, the ability to identify state trends and to compare states plus district exemplars. A national report, which complements this work and identifies national trends, will be released on October 26, 2015 at SETDA’s annual, invitation only Leadership Summit.
The DMAPS tool is one important step in making it easier for state leaders to show the way forward and recognize the importance of digital resources to student learning. Would calling it a “catalyst” be too strong? I think not. Stay tuned.