For busy educators with full schedules and limited bandwidth, implementing new digital literacy solutions can be daunting. There are assessments to prep for, standards to meet, costs to cover, and a great deal is asked of the educator when taking on the task of integrating a new program.
As an account manager with two decades of education experience overseeing digital literacy programs in eleven states, I completely understand and empathize with the challenges educators face in this scenario. From limitations on instructional time to the competing priorities of Principals, one thing educators definitely need is relevant and impactful support putting them on a solid path to success as they implement digital literacy into their curriculum.
I’ve identified six simple steps that educators I work with follow to create their own plan for a successful adoption of new digital curriculum.
Know Your Why
First and foremost, identify your why. Understanding what your district’s key objectives are for implementing your digital literacy program is key. Ask important questions such as:
- What are your goals and are they measurable?
- What is the implementation timeline?
- How do you see the program accomplishing the district goals?
- How do you see the program addressing requirements of state standards? Preparing students for the future?
After these objectives have been defined district-wide, a success plan can be more easily crafted and achieved, while ensuring your district’s priorities are being addressed.
Plan Your Plan
Yes, everyone needs a plan! To create your success plan, a critical starting point is to inspire the necessary buy-in from your stakeholders, especially your educators and principals. Successful implementations are driven by the support and approval of the instructional leaders at your campuses and in the classroom.
Other factors that will be helpful when designing your success plan include:
- Building Your Implementation Model. What grades will be using the curriculum, and will there be a standardized pacing calendar? Who will be responsible for teaching the program, how often, and in what type of setting?
- Setting Clear Expectations. A best practice is to set the standard for your district norms. For example, if you want all educators to get their students keyboarding 30 minutes per week, the expectations must clearly be made by making it mandatory. Ensure you’re aligned with your instructional leadership and Principals to support this expectation in communications.
- Taking Ownership. Designate a district implementation coordinator who will be involved in the details of tracking usage reports and directly supporting your teaching teams. Empower a lead educator whom other users can reach out to for support, best practices, and inspiration.
- Hold ongoing professional development trainings and workshops for your educators to ensure comfort and confidence in program usage, reviewing product updates, and annual trainings to maintain best practices.
- Planning for Communication and Awareness. Do you have a district communication plan? Are educators aware of the district expectations for program usage? Ensure Principals are aware of what’s available to and expected of them.
As important as it is to know your district objectives and have a clear implementation plan to achieve those objectives, how you consistently measure success is crucial to showing progress and validating outcomes. Measure your program’s success by using reports to track the “Why” with data. If the goals your district sets are centered around improving online test scores, then measuring progress in keyboarding (i.e.: reporting WPM and Accuracy data) and showing completed lessons in computer fundamentals, are essential.
Once your objectives are clearly measured, be sure to follow up with your educator and Principal teams to ensure they know where the gaps are and be sure to share out who to celebrate. Recognizing teachers and other team members for doing a great job will go a long way for your continued, successful digital literacy solution integration.
Find Your Champions
Every district has top performing educators and top performing schools. We like to call them Champions. Be sure to celebrate and publicly acknowledge their work! Champions can be ambassadors of the program, lead teachers in trainings, the go-to person for support, and all-around cheerleader for the program. Most importantly, Champions set the example for each campus to stay on track with your success plan.
Leverage the Account Manager
Once you’ve purchased a new program, your Account Manager is your main contact and the key to your support system. Leverage them for all they can bring to the table – they want you to be successful.
The Account Manager is your advocate, your connector (if you need something, they have the answer or will find the person who does), your implementation guru, data and report expert, and all around Learning.com Guide. Work together to create your Digital Literacy Success Plan. We are here to help!