Try This: 10 Things Every State Should Do Now
A state chief asked for a list of things that his state should try. With help from Eric Smith of Chiefs for Change, here's a list of the top 10 list of things every state should do now:
2. Expand alternative preparation pathways, especially those linked to high performing school districts/networks;
3. Support an incubator like 4.0 Schools to encourage edupreneurs;
Tools and Schools
4. Support new school grants modeled after Next Generation Learning Challenges grants (see recent feature on CityBridge and NGLC in Washington, DC);
5. Encourage networks: use smart procurement to encourage adoption of one of several IT stacks, including student information systems, learning management systems, social learning networks, open and proprietary content, and student access devices;
6. Expand course choice options: full and part time access to online and blended options from multiple providers (see Louisiana students gained online options, and 10 Strategies States & Districts Can Use to Boost AP).
7. Encourage all schools to provide coding and computer science options (starting with an hour of code the week of December 10); allow substitution of computer science classes for math and science grad requirements; and support adoption of nationally recognized information technology industry certifications.
Tracking and Testing
8. Provide on-demand, end-of-course secondary tests to promote competency-based progress;
10. Give every student a digital portfolio (see Pathbrite Provides E-Portfolios For All Learners; EduClipper Powers Presentation Portfolio; and Students Shine Through Digital Portfolios) with examples of anchor products linked to Common Core State
The most important thing a state chief can do is to frame compelling goals and encourage proactive planning around the shift to digital learning. (See Blended Learning Implementation Guide 2.0.)