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Keith: As you know, at we have the opportunity to work with and support students, teachers and schools across the U.S. and internationally. Leaders we work with have expressed real concern about making sure we really prepare students for college and career and for whatever exciting changes technology delivers. So in our minds the whole notion of digital literacy goes beyond specific skills, and really encompasses a way to equip students to learn and master new technologies as they’re available. What final advice would you offer to educators as they approach the nearly constant change on the technology front?

Courtney: They should use the same approach they use for other important priorities. First, make it a strategic imperative – something that must be done, not simply something that could be done if… We need to put digital literacy in the same category as verbal literacy and numeracy. Children today must be taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and tech. They must learn not just their ABCs and 123s, but also their 0101s.

Secondly, the initiative needs one or more leaders to serve as champions. These leaders can be school superintendents, principals, and members of the school board, as well as parents and students.

Once the commitment is established, they can follow a process they know well from their work with other initiatives: strategize, assess, plan and implement. That process should not be overly bureaucratic or time consuming, however. They can’t let planning and process objectives, or a desire for perfection, get in the way of action and progress. They have to be nimble and agile so they can adapt to a constantly-changing environment and the opportunities and challenges those changes create.

Digital transformation is a marathon, not a sprint, and there are no silver bullets or quick fixes. Education leaders have to take a long-term view and employ a crawl-walk-run strategy that reflects their starting point and the progress they make. The end zone may seem like a long way off, but they need to keep moving the ball down the field.

Keith: Courtney, thank you so much. At, our focus is helping students and educators excel in digital world. With insights from innovators and thought leaders like Courtney, we are truly optimistic and encouraged about the work we do with the education community.

Courtney: Thank you. Let’s keep fighting the good fight!

Keith Oelrich with looking at camera and smiling

Keith Oelrich


Keith Oelrich joined as CEO in 2012. A pioneer in the K-12 online education market since 2000, Keith has served as CEO of several companies which have collectively provided K-12 online education programs to thousands of districts, tens of thousands of schools and millions of students and their families.

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