VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – One of the 11 school districts honored at the Learning Counsel’s Annual Gathering and National Awards was Virginia Beach City Public Schools for its digital curriculum strategies .
VBCPS, and other school districts, demonstrated how they have transformed classroom teaching digitally but also how they use technology inside and outside the classroom on a management-level, said the Learning Counsel.
In its honoring of VBCPS, the Learning Counsel said, “VBCPS created a unique path for students and allows remote or temporarily sick students to attend via robots. They were awarded for their creation of Compass-to-2020, their school division’s strategic plan. This plan includes developing multiple pathways for all students and a program of personalized learning using appropriate digital resources and tools. To this end, the department of teaching and learning developed a readiness guide for schools to self-assess themselves in the dispositions of students, teachers, leadership, community, and learning environment. To support these efforts the division has moved towards utilizing digital resources and tools whenever possible as well as moving towards a 1:1 adoption of Chromebooks in grades 1-12. Receiving the award was Director of Instructional Technology Bill Johnsen.”
Other than the awards given by the Learning Counsel, the event also brought together top education leaders from across the nation to discuss systems, strategies and tools that will help develop K-12 education for the future.
“The Learning Counsel National Gathering provided a unique opportunity to learn and network with outstanding educational technology leaders and industry experts,” said Dr. Karla Burkholder, Director of Instructional Technology at Schertz-Cibolo Universal City ISD. “The connections made and information shared will be invaluable to my staff and me on our journey to digital transformation.”
Even thought this gathering and award banquet had the positive effect of bringing together those in the education community, the growing concern on how to make productive digital changes to the classroom is something that LeiLanin Cauthen, CEO and Publisher of the Learning Counsel, has noticed across the U.S.
The Learning Counsel has been studying software system-level restructuring and visiting with school leaders to see the effects and opportunities technology could have on classrooms of all sizes across America. Cauthen said that across the country a continued theme was how to transition to a digital curriculum for students, and also how to support teachers as they implement these strategies and curriculum’s in the everyday classroom setting.
“While it was common to find districts with decently established infrastructure and computing devices, what is happening with teachers is far from well-executed with regards to software oversight,” said Cauthen. “By survey, teachers are still spending upwards of 25 percent of their time finding content and building custom lessons. In the meantime, technology and digital content collections continue to grow into realms that individual teachers and even school technology departments can’t keep up with—and the oversight to vet this content is questionable at best, in most cases. Luckily, I am finding most districts, such as our award winners here at the gathering, are beginning to get a handle on many of these challenges.”