Beginning in summer 2020, publishers of materials that meet alignment criteria were invited to submit additional information about the technology features of their programs. This information helps educators to better understand the digital design and capabilities of instructional materials, including interoperability, compatibility, security, and support. These features have become even more important during the pandemic as districts assess what instructional materials may work best in their communities for in-person, remote, and hybrid settings. Access to high-quality instructional materials by all students is more important than ever, and technology plays an essential role in that access.
As a result of market demands, including those brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many publishers have developed or are developing new technology features. Additionally, some products may have existing features that districts and schools have not yet utilized to their fullest capacity before now. The new reports can help districts learn more about the features that already exist, are in development, or are not under development.
This graphic organizer is designed to support leaders to better understand the technology features of the aligned instructional materials that have already been adopted. As schools and districts plan for the upcoming school year and weigh technology and materials purchases, it is important to understand the features that their current aligned materials offer.
This resource is designed to be used by a team of district and/or site leaders who support teachers with curriculum implementation. It is critical that this team include the district or school technology lead, someone with a deep understanding of the technology capabilities of the school or district. We recommend convening a 90-120 minute working session, virtually or in-person as safety allows, to work through the technology information document for your program using this graphic organizer. The team should leave this working session with clear next steps to support strong implementation of your curriculum during in-person and distance learning.
As you engage in this activity, be sure to include your district technology lead who can speak to the technology capabilities of the district.
Each section of the graphic organizer includes italicized directions, followed by a chart with a more specific question and space to capture your reflection and/or action steps. At the end of the document is a space to summarize next steps.
Districts analyzing their technology information have already prioritized high-quality, aligned materials for their students. Current demands for technology should enhance the district’s ability to facilitate student learning, support teacher’s instruction, and communicate with parents. As you reflect on the past year and plan for the future, keep this same commitment to high-quality instructional materials that led you to select aligned materials in the first place.