San Diego Leadership Defines Transformation

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Teachers are swamped; digital curriculum implementation hot topic in discussion meeting
By: 
Cebron Walker, Editor-in-Chief

The University of San Diego was the site of the Digital Curriculum Tactics Discussion in early November. The opening keynote was delivered by the Learning Counsel’s LeiLani Cauthen. She spoke direct to the point on the affect of digital curriculum transition and the evolution we’re mid as new devices get brough into classrooms.

“There are more than 7,000 digital resource publishers and tens of millions of digital learning objects including the massive numbers of items that are in the free and open education resources sites,” stated LeiLani. “The hunting around, and then inspection process, is a nationwide undertaking being played out in every school and by every teacher across the land.”

She covered how, in the 29 cities she’s visited in 2016, the most notable factor she hears from administrators is that their teachers are being swamped. More is being expected of them with digital curriculum implementation then they are equipped to handle. Leadership during this time is critical to evolve processes that support instructors in our classrooms.

Photo Gallery: San Diego Discussion

Presentations throughout the day from local San Diego area school districts shared the barriers they are confronting and the successes they are having. Best practices devised and top courseware, applications and platforms were presented.

Several executives spoke about the concerns and difficulties their teachers are talking to them about. Teachers want to understand how they can gauge their progress in shifting their teaching style. Professional development was clearly a key pain point with requests for samples of top companies and solutions to ease issues during transition.

The day ended with a leadership panel which included: Dan Stoneman, the Chief Innovation Officer of San Diego Unified; Michelle Murphy, the Chief Technology Officer of Coachella Valley Unified and Greg Magnuson, Superintendent of Buena Park School District.

“Today we’ve heard exemplar speakers from local school districts as well as some ‘best practices’ from vendors and, of course, some learning counsel staff, particularly LeiLani who has a great knowledge about the education space overall,” stated Dan Stoneman, Chief Innovation Officer of San Diego Unified. “When we think of digital content, we think ‘How do we break it down into the most useful, the most time-on-task, and what will engage students the most?’ The way that LeiLani has structured it to codify the elements that all school districts would be interested in across the U.S. really strikes a chord with us because we’ve thought a lot about how we would assess and procure content on our own, absent of a generalized framework. I like the one that she’s started to build. I’m very excited about the future of education and I am a firm believer in the ability of educational technology to advance our practices and afford each child an individualized experience.”

San Diego schools are clearly on the right path, asking the right questions and searching for best routes to full transition to digital curriculum and technology. We look forward to seeing everyone in San Diego again next year and hearing about successes and outcomes as we make our way in this time of change.

Twenty-five years in the trenches of news media and marketing. As Editor at the Learning Counsel, Cebron lives in the “eye of the storm” in this rapidly transforming space, reporting on leading schools, innovative administrators and industry which are shaping the future of teaching and learning.

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