Digital Learning Best Practices

  • Tools work best when used well. How a teacher facilitates the use of a tool is critical to student success. As a district, our priorities are to support use of tools instructionally, meaning we will help to refine best practices around the tool by identifying target students, ideal implementation models, and how the tool integrates with existing instructional practice in addition to using the tool in intentional partnership with all other teaching practices which enhances and amplifies learning.

    Implementation of digital tools improves with the following practices:

    1. Provide Supports and Foster Independence: Use notebooks or other supports for students to record their levels and progress, to write out solutions to problems, to record their learning. Encourage students to help classmates (either technically or academically).
    2. Ask Supporting Questions: When students struggle or need support with a tool, ask open-ended questions that help them find their own solutions. Ask questions like, “What are you trying to do?” “How could you figure that out?” What problem are you trying to solve?” “What have you figured out so far?” “What are some options for what you could try next?”
    3. Ensure Meaningful and Important Work in Tools: Set a clear purpose for why and how students are using a tool. Relay the importance of their effort and accuracy when taking assessment pieces and their intentionality when practicing skills.
    4. Track and Celebrate Progress: Post progress charts in classrooms with specific success indicators (i.e. syllabus progress percentage or quiz score data) and celebrate student growth. Empower students to track their own progress by placing marks on the chart or in their notes.
    5. Intervene Based on Data: Set a regular schedule to analyze data from tools. Identify students who need intensive intervention and pull groups of students with similar struggles for targeted instruction and supported practice.
    6. Connect Online to Offline Instruction: Make connections between work in tools to classroom instruction with explicit ties or with general ideas.