As school districts plan to spend COVID-19 relief funds to create new technology programs or bolster existing technology structures, Digital Promise has published two new resources to help districts spend responsibly and strategically.
First, the Technology Sustainability Toolkit is designed to help districts think intentionally about how to use the funding to build sustainable technology plans that will prevent a tumble off the “funding cliff” when the money runs out. It provides actionable strategies districts can use to create a runway to support work that starts now and will continue in the future.
“School districts who don’t plan for sustainability will find themselves in a difficult position in a few years when the technology items they purchase now need repair or replacement,” said Diane Doersch, director of technology for the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative at Digital Promise. “This toolkit will help districts develop plans that leverage current funding to realize long-term goals, like equitable access to devices and transformative instructional practices that result in significant student outcomes.”
Second, the K-12 Leaders’ Guide to Successful Technology Integration shares best practices and lessons learned from several Digital Promise initiatives, including seven years of implementing the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program. The guide explores six key elements found in schools that have successfully established and sustained a culture of powerful learning with technology:
A strong district and school leadership team
A clear, inclusive, and easily accessible transformation plan
Ongoing, embedded professional learning opportunities for teachers
Always-available technology and broadband access
Support for parents and caregivers
Equity as a mindset
“Unprecedented federal funding provides an opportunity to make significant strides in closing the Digital Learning Gap—but only if we think differently about how schools meet the needs of every learner,” said Jean-Claude Brizard, Digital Promise president and CEO. “We are sharing this guide now so that states and districts working on plans for spending this once-in-a-generation funding can benefit from what we know.”