Forming and Utilizing a Leadership Team - Digital Promise

Forming and Utilizing a Leadership Team

Assemble an effective digital learning leadership team to guide the planning and implementation of digital learning in your district or school.

Forming a Leadership Team

A successful digital learning program requires skills, expertise, and feedback from many different stakeholders. The most effective digital learning leadership teams include district office and school personnel as well as external stakeholders like members of school boards and parent-teacher organizations to ensure commitment to a shared vision and support for achieving agreed-upon goals. The digital learning leadership team will be responsible for setting and monitoring progress towards those goals, communicating with other stakeholders (e.g., administrators, teachers, families, and community members), and addressing feedback and concerns. The team should bring together expertise from across the district and encourage collaboration.

An effective leadership team may include:

Role
Responsibilities

Designated Lead

Organize the project, manage communication, schedule meetings, and ensure reports are produced

Teaching and Learning Lead

Guide the work of aligning curriculum goals to digital learning resources and monitor current educational research for best practices

IT Department Lead

Represent the IT department with knowledge of systems, infrastructure, devices, and support personnel

District Level Administrator

Align the digital learning plan for the entire district and ensure compliance with all laws and legal requirements, including privacy and security laws

School Level Administrators

Represent strong instructional leadership and provide guidance for teachers, students, and families in the transition to digital learning

Classroom Teachers from different grade bands (K–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12) and departments (e.g., special educators, bilingual educators)

Provide strong teacher leadership with a vision for digital learning and advocate for students

Non-Teaching School Personnel

Provide additional perspectives on best practices for digital learning, including social and emotional development, building-level technology use, and support for neurodiverse learners

Parents, Guardians, or Family Members

Advocate for students and provide insights on family members’ ability to support students’ digital learning

Students

Share and promote the needs of themselves and their peers

Community Members and Business Leaders

Advocate for the larger community in which the school/district is located and collaborate to meet the needs of the community

Role

Designated Lead

Responsibilities

Organize the project, manage communication, schedule meetings, and ensure reports are produced

Role

Teaching and Learning Lead

Responsibilities

Guide the work of aligning curriculum goals to digital learning resources and monitor current educational research for best practices

Role

IT Department Lead

Responsibilities

Represent the IT department with knowledge of systems, infrastructure, devices, and support personnel

Role

District Level Administrator

Responsibilities

Align the digital learning plan for the entire district and ensure compliance with all laws and legal requirements, including privacy and security laws

Role

School Level Administrators

Responsibilities

Represent strong instructional leadership and provide guidance for teachers, students, and families in the transition to digital learning

Role

Classroom Teachers from different grade bands (K–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12) and departments (e.g., special educators, bilingual educators)

Responsibilities

Provide strong teacher leadership with a vision for digital learning and advocate for students

Role

Non-Teaching School Personnel

Responsibilities

Provide additional perspectives on best practices for digital learning, including social and emotional development, building-level technology use, and support for neurodiverse learners

Role

Parents, Guardians, or Family Members

Responsibilities

Advocate for students and provide insights on family members’ ability to support students’ digital learning

Role

Students

Responsibilities

Share and promote the needs of themselves and their peers

Role

Community Members and Business Leaders

Responsibilities

Advocate for the larger community in which the school/district is located and collaborate to meet the needs of the community

Developing a Shared Vision and Goals

Once the leadership team is established, the team should develop a set of straightforward, attainable goals. These goals should be developed iteratively based on district or school objectives and data on the determined needs of the community (see “Conducting a Needs Assessment”), and they should be shared publicly for feedback from the community

Effective digital learning goals should:

  • Work toward each student having access to a device and internet at home and at school
  • Set a timeline for digital learning implementation
  • Establish standards of success for digital learning within the school or district
  • Determine how digital learning supports district and school goals for student learning and social and emotional development
  • Address the need for learning continuity when incorporating or moving to digital learning
  • Consider supports for students, staff, and families
  • Align with long-term district goals for learning and technology use

After the vision and goals are established, the leadership team should meet regularly (we recommend a weekly, 30- to 60-minute meeting, either in person or virtual) to monitor progress, provide updates, address concerns, and continue planning.

Monitoring Progress and Implementing Feedback

Collecting data and feedback about the success of digital learning should be a continuous process that begins early. From the start, the leadership team should create a plan for gathering feedback from stakeholders, including teachers, families, and students (see “Conducting a Needs Assessment”). The team should also identify key questions they seek to answer, especially as they relate to stated goals, and collect continuous feedback. It is often helpful to assign a leadership team member to monitor and take responsibility for each key question. After feedback is collected, the leadership team should meet to adjust the digital learning plan accordingly.

Collected feedback should:

  • Align with the district or school’s digital learning goals
  • Be collected through varied methods (e.g., surveys, focus groups) from a variety of sources and stakeholders
  • Be able to be disaggregated by grade level, stakeholder category, and other key factors
  • Be made public to stakeholders (see “Providing Information to and Training for Families”)
  • Inform updates to digital learning within the district or school

Guiding Questions

  • Which district leaders, school personnel, and community members have the skills and knowledge necessary to work collaboratively to assess the needs of the district or school, generate a digital learning plan, and guide implementation of that plan?
  • What is the shared vision for effective digital learning within our district or school over the next year? Three years? Five years?
  • How will digital learning and technology support the district or school’s learning goals?
  • How will digital learning and technology support students’ social and emotional learning?
  • Does the current district technology plan require updating or revisions to align with new digital learning goals?
  • What feedback and assessment indicators can be gathered throughout the digital learning implementation to determine what is or isn’t working for students, families, and teachers?
Tools and Resources

Forming a Leadership Team

Developing a Shared Vision and Goals for Effective Digital Learning

Monitoring Digital Learning Progress and Implementing Feedback

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