What are the Digital Learning Competencies?
The Digital Learning Competencies (DLCs) are skills that teachers and leaders should integrate into their practice in order to create an effective digital learning environment.
The content of the competencies was informed by national models such as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) teaching standards, International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), and the North Carolina Logic Model created in 2013 as a result of HB 23. More than fifty educators from around North Carolina took these models and identified important components and personalized the content in order to make these specific to the teachers and students in North Carolina.
The competencies are organized into four focus areas: Leadership in Digital Learning, Digital Citizenship, Digital Content and Instruction, and Data and Assessment. Each Focus Area has been aligned to the Professional Teaching Standards with a subset of competencies that help to explain and ‘unpack’ the Focus Area. For each competency, an example has been given to help introduce one possible way that competency might be implemented.
Why were the Digital Learning Competencies developed?
In 2013, the North Carolina Legislature passed House Bill 23. This bill called on the State Board of Education to develop digital teaching and learning competencies that would “provide a framework for schools of education, school administrators, and classroom teachers on the needed skills to provide high-quality, integrated digital teaching and learning.”
The passage of this law reflects the changing nature of schools in North Carolina and nationwide. Technology is no longer an extraneous part of how some students learn but a necessity for all students as they move from K-12 schools to college and career. As the technology available to students and in North Carolina schools changes, the way educators approach teaching and learning must also adapt. These competencies provide teachers and administrators with a framework for making those changes.
When will the digital learning competencies be implemented?
The DLCs went into effect July 1, 2017.
How will I be expected to use them?
It is critically important for educators to stay current on changing technology and teaching practices. Teachers will use the digital learning competencies to inform classroom practice and support professional growth in digital teaching and learning.
Administrators will interact with two sets of Digital Learning Competencies: one for administrators and one for teachers. Principals will apply the Digital Learning Competencies for Administrators to their own practice to model and support those in their buildings. The administrator competencies will also help guide principals as they make decisions regarding important elements such as professional development and curriculum. Finally, principals will use The Digital Learning Competencies for Teachers as "look fors" when they administer the teacher evaluation instrument and will use them to inform teacher professional development plans.
District leaders should use the Digital Learning Competencies to inform the content of the district’s professional development offerings for educators. Additionally, district administrators will provide support to teachers and school leaders by modeling and offering assistance.
This sounds like another mandate… how is it different?
The competencies were designed to help support educators’ professional development. By giving specific examples and aligning resources, the goal is that teachers will be able to get a clear understanding of what digital learning is, how it can look in the classroom, and how a teacher might take first steps to implementing. In this age, using technology in the classroom is no longer an option, but is a necessity in order to get students ready for college and career. Additionally, the Digital Learning Competencies were designed with input from many teachers, administrators, and leaders across North Carolina.