Intro Modules

Any district embarking in a technology transformation will have to wrestle with questions such as:

  • What kind of technology-rich teaching are we aiming for? Why?
  • What will it take to make our initiative successful?

To help districts addressing these questions, we have created a guided series of readings/videos that we encourage you to go through with your team.


Let’s Get Started…

Developing a common vision of the links of teaching we are striving for…

What does digitally-rich teaching and learning really mean for K-12 classrooms?  

As you get started, it’s likely that not many people will know how to respond to this question, or will provide different and limited answers depending on their previous experiences with technology.

It’s essential to develop your own shared image of the kinds of technology-supported learning experiences your district wants to strive for – as this should inform all other decisions and efforts!

SAMR Model

[Video: 4 minutes]

The SAMR model provides insights on the different opportunities for student learning that complementary ways of using technology in the classroom may offer.

See four complementary uses of technology in teaching (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) along with concrete examples of each.


Watching some classroom videos together, and then discussing what everyone values (or not) in them, can be very powerful – especially if the vignettes portray innovative teaching practices and learning experiences that would not have been possible without the technology.

We have found the following short videos from The Teaching Channel particularly useful for this exercise:

Writing Digital Stories

[Video: 10 minutes]

Observe a high school classroom engaging in a unit about the American Creed, where digital tools and digital content enable student engagement and collaboration with primary sources and with each other.

It’s a great example of how technology can be instrumental in transforming teaching practices.


Coding in the Algebra Classroom

[Video: 10 minutes]

See how this teacher leverages computer programming to support students making sense of hard-to-grasp fundamental concepts in algebra

Another great example – this time showing how technology can impact curriculum.


There’s also great value in sharing stories through video of digitally-rich classrooms in your district and other local schools – although it’s resource intensive to create these video vignettes to convey the richness of digitally-rich learning!

Recognizing the Need and Potential Value of Digitally-Rich Learning for K-12 Schools

Leveraging technology to transform teaching practices is a major undertaking for K-12 districts, so it’s important that all constituencies involved – teachers, students, families, school board, etc., have a clear sense of the potential value of your digital initiative, the outcomes they can expect and why those outcomes are valuable.

Here are some resources other schools are finding helpful to accomplish their digital goals:

The Active Learner

Video: 2 minutes

See how today’s students need to be educated differently because of new online learning options open to them, and the technology they use everyday.

Getting Inspired by the Results of Successful Digital Conversions

There’s no greater incentive to embark in a resource-intensive innovation than witnessing the gains achieved by other k12 schools.  See how other K-12 districts have indeed achieved impressive outcomes as a result of successful “digital conversion” initiatives.

Project RED Report (2012) : Engage with this seminal report to see the positive results of 1:1 initiatives across school districts.

And to stay connected to Project Red, check out the Project RED website .

Additional inspiring stories about the impact of successful digital conversions:

Securing the Conditions for Future Success

Along with examples of successful technology integrations in K-12 schools, there are many more stories of failed attempts.  What can you do to avoid that fate and ensure success?

Joe Sutorius, the Chief Information Officer at East Irondequoit Central School District, has some deep insights to share in the video, “Key conditions for digital conversion”.

Checklist of Key Components for Success

  • Leadership needs to be invested (BOE on down)
  • Build realistic sustainable budget structure
  • Wireless infrastructure, mobile device management tools, and appropriate levels of tech support
  • Device selection, management and logistics
  • Teach and administrator professional development
  • Learning Management System
  • You need to build a core team to drive this work!

[Video: 3’21”] This video is the excerpt of a presentation by Joe Sutorius, where he identified “after the fact” the factors and conditions that most impacted his district’s successful digital conversion