Actions Items for Implementing the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan
The following are tangible actions that can be taken from the above recommendations. Many of these action items are already underway. All will require multiple groups to step up to the plate. Our next step is to bring students, parents, teachers, administrators, school boards, business, manufacturing, commerce, community members, libraries, colleges and universities, legislators, policy-makers, and every-day citizens together to make these things happen:
- Implement the statewide student information system (SIS) as mandated.
- Implement the statewide data warehouse, dashboard and reporting system known as WISEdash. Build on relationships between the partners such as higher education, early childhood, and workforce development to increase the relevance of the data within the system.
- Implement a statewide Moodle learning management system (LMS). Identify partners who will assist with on-going management and support of the environment.
- Implement a method for evaluating quality content included in the Moodle LMS. Place quality content in the Moodle LMS and organize the content so it is useful and efficient for educators and students. Options for accessing content will be open education resources or low-cost. Emphasis may be placed on those resources created or held by Wisconsin entities.
- Partner with other organizations to design, build and promote a statewide educational resource portal. Focus on Wisconsin-based open education resource content that is interoperable with national efforts such as the US Department of Education’s Learning Registry, as well as consortia efforts such as the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium and Dynamic Learning Maps. Use the knowledge, experience and practice of states with similar efforts as a guide.
- Finalize design and implementation of a standardized, hosted district technology planning template tool for use by all districts. Use the framework of the statewide digital learning plan as the outline. Leverage best practice research within the template for local planners.
- Implement the digital SMARTER Balanced Assessment system as a replacement for the current Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) in partnership with the SMARTER Consortium and the Dynamic Learning Maps consortium. Simultaneously, explore the feasibility of digital systems across state school systems, including but not limited to SMARTER, that use self-assessment tools such as e-portfolios as part of their benchmark and formative assessment components.
- Explore the implementation of a common electronic professional development plan system as an extension of the current efforts to automate the teacher licensing process.
- Create a seamless operational environment that ensures access to virtual courses and the statewide student information system (SIS). This would address such details as a common statewide course catalog for virtual courses, integration with course selection, registration, and master scheduling, grading and transcripts.
- As a means to facilitate college and career readiness for all Wisconsin students, explore best practices for implementing an individual learner plan (ILP) system including software applications, curricular resources, and professional development. Perform this action in partnership with other Wisconsin agencies and organizations. This group should provide a recommendation for action to the State Superintendent.
- The State Superintendent will charge the Digital Learning Advisory Council with establishing a partnership with experienced educational leader representatives from state professional organizations (e.g., WASB, WASDA). The charge to the group will be to provide guidance on policy and procedure development that facilitates educator and student access to digital learning as specified in the plan. A formal report will be developed and submitted to the State Superintendent.
- Within the statewide educator resource portal, create a repository of best practice resources that can be utilized by technology staff through an established professional learning network. Explore the creation of regional technology support centers focused on infrastructure and hardware and in alignment with the best practice guidelines in the district technology planning template (see #6 above).
- Establish benchmarks for bandwidth capacities that reflect the requirements of a transformed educational system as delineated in this report. Publicize these benchmarks across the state. Facilitate partnerships that will lead to creative, cost-effective solutions for achieving the benchmarks statewide.
- Establish formalized and working partnerships between DPI, other agencies and educational organizations, and the private and non-profit sectors to focus on resource acquisition that enables implementation of the recommendations. To this end, specifically explore partnership with the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) for use of the loan fund for implementing local technology infrastructure improvements aligned to the this digital learning strategic plan.
- While the council was not able to complete the task of “providing a working timeline and identify estimated investment costs for all actions,” it is our strong understanding for the need to conduct additional research and to include additional stakeholders. We feel it is important that this task be addressed as the council’s work moves ahead.
- Build a foundation from which to deliver the digital learning policy and procedures. This foundation will reflect the state’s digital learning core values, teaching and learning principles, and to be aligned with the following critical policy elements:
- Student Eligibility - All students are digital learners;
- Student Access - All students have access to high quality digital content and online courses;
- Personalized Learning - All students can customize their education using digital content through an approved provider;
- Advancement - Student progress based on demonstrated competency;
- Content - Digital content, instructional materials and online and blended learning courses are high quality;
- Instruction - Digital instruction and teachers are high quality (including an examination of teacher licensing requirements);
- Providers - All students have access to multiple high quality providers;
- Assessment and Accountability - Student learning is the metric for evaluating the quality of content and instruction;
- Funding - Funding creates incentives for performance, option and innovation; and
- Delivery - Infrastructure supports digital learning.