Considerations

  • Background

    Additional considerations when selecting instructional materials are identified in this section. From budget and technology requirements to the interoperability of digital applications–to accessibility so that all students can access digital instructional materials, all are important components of successful adoption and implementation of instructional materials to support student learning goals.

     

    • Navigating the Digital Shift 2018

      With the transformation to digital learning, more and more states are enacting policies and guidelines to support the implementation and utilization of digital instructional materials, applications and resources. This publication highlights how state policies and guidance are supporting the transformation to digital learning, specifically the policies and processes around the selection, curation, procurement and funding of digital instructional materials.

      • Topic Area:
      • Implementation
      • Overview Quality
      • Planning
      • Selection

      View Resource

    • State Education Leadership Interoperability

      State leadership is essential for developing interoperable solutions that support the best future where data is seamlessly connected and readily available for decision makers. Many states are applying interoperability solutions to existing practices, but not yet applying interoperability solutions to transform current practices to support new learning models with seamless access to data. Learn more about SETDA’s recommendations.

      • Topic Area:
      • Planning

      View Resource

    • State Procurement Case Studies

      Developed in collaboration with state and district digital learning leaders, instructional materials directors, procurement offices and academic officers, this publication highlights state level procurement case studies that share how states have effectively established and implemented policies for the procurement of high quality instructional materials and devices.

      • Topic Area:
      • Budget

      View Resource

    • State Wi-Fi Leadership for Fostering Digital Learning Ready K12 Schools

      This paper explores the steps states are taking to address the wireless equity gaps that exist among their schools. Leaders from Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah outline the planning, policy, funding, and management approaches their state agencies and education technology leaders are adopting regarding Wi-Fi, and they share their recommendations for promoting and/or creating equitable access opportunities to high-quality Wi-Fi connectivity.

      • Topic Area:
      • Considerations
      • Implementation

      View Resource

  • Accessibility

    With the shift from print to digital, education leaders must proactively consider the accessibility of digital resources for all students, including students with disabilities.If accessibility features are not designed into digital materials, it will be difficult or impossible for some students to use them due to a range of physical, sensory and/or cognitive disabilities. If materials cannot be used by these students, their ability to learn and achieve will be adversely effected.

    As required by federal statutes, including IDEA and civil rights legislation, state and local education agencies must  ensure that students who need accessible materials and technologies receive them in a timely manner. Timely manner is generally defined as “at the same time other students receive their materials.

    SETDA recommends that states and districts meet federal requirements by including accessibility in policies regarding the development, distribution/sharing and use of digital materials and technologies to improve the learning experiences of ALL students. Policies should include:

    • Establishing a clear vision for the use of accessible digital learning materials and communicating that vision to relevant stakeholders, including content creators and content users.
    • Ensuring digital materials procured from commercial and free sources meet accessibility standards, such as WCAG 2.0 (minimum level AA compliance) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
    • Supporting the development and use of accessible open educational resources to maximize flexibility
    • Requiring that customization options be available for educators to personalize learning and meet individual student needs.
    • Providing educators with professional learning opportunities on the proper use of accessible educational materials.
    • Ensuring that educators have access to online repositories of quality accessible digital content.
    • Investing in research and evaluation to assess the impact of accessible digital learning materials on student achievement and engagement and to share best practices
    • Investing in research and evaluation to assess the impact of accessible digital learning materials on student achievement and engagement and to share best practices.

    Key Definitions

    Accessible educational materials (AEM) are print- and technology-based educational materials, including printed and electronic textbooks and related core materials that are designed or enhanced in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of learner variability, regardless of format (e.g. print, digital, graphic, audio, video).

    IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) specifically focuses on the provision of accessible print instructional materials in the specialized formats of braille, large print, audio, and digital text to students who need them in a timely manner.

    WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) provides a wide range of recommendations for making web content more accessible for people with disabilities and more usable in general.

    • Bookshare: A Benetech Initiative

      Bookshare® is the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities. Bookshare serves users around the world and ensures that content is available to people with print disabilities at the same time as their peers.

      • Topic Area:
      • Accessibility
      • Selection

      View Resource

    • Build Accessible Coursework

      Learn how to improve the accessibility of the content you create for your students.

      • Topic Area:
      • Accessibility
      • OER
      • Selection

      View Resource

    • Buy Accessible: What to look for in ebooks

      Are you buying ebooks that all students can read? Not all ebooks are accessible to students with print disabilities and knowing what to look for can help your textbook procurement staff make the best decisions for all students.

      • Topic Area:
      • Accessibility
      • Selection

      View Resource

    • SETDA Policy Brief – Accessibility of Digital Content

      As states and districts shift from print to digital content, education leaders must proactively consider the accessibility of digital content for all students, including students with disabilities. This issue brief provides recommendations for state and district policy regarding the development, use and distribution and sharing of digital tools to improve the learning experiences of all students.

      • Topic Area:
      • OER

      View Resource

    • The Palm Initiative

      The AEM Center at CAST has launched the PALM Initiative (Purchase Accessible Learning Materials) to ensure that materials used in the classroom are designed to be useable by all students. This requires adjustments in the way materials are purchased, and that, in turn, will drive the availability of more flexible and accessible learning materials in the […]

      • Topic Area:
      • Accessibility
      • OER
      • Selection

      View Resource

  • Budget & Funding

    Before selecting instructional materials, the review team should have a basic understanding of the budget for these materials, as well as the funding options. A state/district may have a line item in the budget for instructional materials; however, other ancillary costs should also be considered, such as the delivery platform and the training required for teachers to implement these materials. More details about budget and funding are provided in these sections.

    Key Questions

    • What is your budget for instructional materials?
    • What are the costs for purchased digital materials?
    • What are the print costs of downloaded materials?
    • Will you incur licensing fees for programs or apps?
    • Will you need to purchase devices?
    • Will you need to increase your internet capacity to utilize the materials?
    • Will you incur additional costs to curate materials online?
    • Do you need to upgrade your content delivery platform?
    • Do all of your teachers and students have access to non-shared devices?
      • If not, how are you addressing this issue?
      • Have you considered a BYOD program?
  • Funding

    Fifteen states have dedicated state funding for digital instructional materials and 12 states have dedicated state funding for devices. Most states report that districts also use local funds for the acquisition of digital instructional materials. A majority of states indicated that districts also collaborate with each other and partner with non-profit organizations to acquire digital tools and resources. Nineteen states report that districts within their state leverage state purchasing contracts.

    North Carolina states it is the intent of the General Assembly to transition from funding for textbooks, both traditional and digital, to funding for digital materials, including textbooks and instructional resources, to provide educational resources that remain current, aligned with curriculum and effective for all learners.

    In South Carolina, the state legislature provides funding for core instructional materials adopted by the state. Districts and schools must use local funds for the purchase of supplemental materials.

    Key Questions

    • Do you have dedicated funding for the acquisition of instructional materials?
    • Do schools have additional, discretionary funds for instructional materials?
    • What are the differences between funding core materials versus supplemental materials?
    • What are the costs for purchased digital materials?
  • Total Cost of Ownership

    Many states and districts are utilizing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), a financial estimate that includes metrics and processes to determine the total cost of acquiring and maintaining instructional materials. Shifting to digital materials requires critical consideration regarding both access to the instructional materials and maintaining the technology tools and services to support the content. Understanding the overall cost for selecting and implementing instructional materials helps determine your return on investment.

    Key Considerations

    • purchases of instructional materials
    • print costs of downloaded materials,
    • licensing fees for programs or apps;
    • purchase of devices;
    • increasing internet bandwidth;
    • implementing wireless spots;
    • a new or updated content delivery platform;
    • technology maintenance and updates;
    • curation of the materials;
    • professional development and training.
  • Transformative Budgeting

    Budget models for instructional materials are changing to support the shift to digital learning. Transformative budgeting, a model that accomplishes innovation within existing budgets. The following three essential strategies characterize transformative budgeting when applied to technology readiness for digital learning:

    1. Alignment of technology expenditures with the goals in the district’s strategic plans.
    2. A cross-functional budget leadership team that brings together finance, technology, curriculum and instruction.
    3. Transformative zero-based budgeting – a process through which education leaders begin each budget cycle at zero in each category, and then add costs to the budget only when there is evidence that such costs are required to meet goals.

    Key Questions

    • What are the regulations and statutes on acquiring instructional materials?
    • What you can buy when – core vs supplemental, intervention?
    • What is the budget for selecting and adopting instructional materials?
    • Have you considered transformative budgeting (i.e., re-purposing funds)?
    • Does your budget differ for core materials versus supplemental materials?
    • What costs would you incur to modify the OER to fit your district/schools learning standards?
    • What is the cost comparison between using digital OER and printing OER materials?
    • Will you need to increase your internet capacity to utilize the materials?
    • Do you need to upgrade your content delivery platform?
    • Do all of your teachers and students have access to non-shared devices?
      • If not, how are you addressing this issue?
      • Have you considered a BYOD program?
  • Interoperability

    While states, districts, and schools have long collected certain education data for accountability purposes, there is growing interest in leveraging data from digital learning tools, online services, educational apps, and other technologies. However, with all the data available to us through technology, school leaders and educators still lack the ability to easily transform that data to information to help guide decisions about instruction, school administration, and operations. Further, the systems we use to collect, manage, analyze, and report on that data are often disconnected and don’t work well together.

    Key Questions

    Facilitator Guide

    interoperabilityThe Faciliator Guide – Interoperability provides education leaders with the information and resources they need to conduct a professional learning session. Participants will:

    • Understand interoperability needs
    • Review national interoperability standards and tools
    • Hear from exemplars on how to overcome challenges
    • Interact with your peers to learn what tools they use
    • Develop and maintain relationships with other district and state leaders
    • Facilitator Guide – Interoperability

      The Facilitator Guide – Interoperability provides education leaders with the information and resources they need to conduct a professional learning session

      • Topic Area:
      • Considerations

      View Resource

    • State Education Leadership Interoperability

      State leadership is essential for developing interoperable solutions that support the best future where data is seamlessly connected and readily available for decision makers. Many states are applying interoperability solutions to existing practices, but not yet applying interoperability solutions to transform current practices to support new learning models with seamless access to data. Learn more about SETDA’s recommendations.

      • Topic Area:
      • Planning

      View Resource

  • Student Data Privacy

    As the collection and shared access to data increases, it is essential that states, districts, and schools have an understanding of data privacy, confidentiality, and security practices related to uses of student data. The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), created by the US Department of Education, developed a best practice resources toolkit to help states, districts, and localities understand student data. Resources are organized by topic area and updated regularly. In 2014, PTAC released the Protecting Student Privacy while Using Online Educational Services report, which included recommendations to schools and districts with respect to privacy, security, and transparency when using online educational services, including software, mobile applications, and web-based tools. Federal laws that serve as the basis for state and local policies on student data include:

    In addition to these federal laws, states play an important role in developing and enforcing policies that supplement these laws to protect the privacy, security, and confidentiality of student data.

  • Acquisition

    Acquisition of quality instructional materials, whether they are print or digital, purchased or free, typically requires following some level of state or local procurement laws. When selecting quality instructional materials, the team needs to have a basic understanding of the acquisition policies in their state, district, or school.

    Key Questions

    • Does the state have guidelines?
    • Does the district have guidelines?
    • Who are the interested parties in acquisition?
      • Curriculum designers
      • Principals
      • Teachers
      • Procurement office
      • Budget office
    • What are the procurement guidelines/restrictions/impacts for:
      • Print core instructional materials?
      • Digital/online/blended core instructional materials?
      • Openly-licensed core instructional materials (OER)?
    • Are the acquisition requirements different for core materials vs. supplemental materials?

     

    • Facilitator Guide – Procurement

      The Facilitator Guide – Procurement provides education leaders with the information and resources they need to conduct a professional learning session.

      • Topic Area:
      • Resources

      View Resource

    • Navigating the Digital Shift 2018

      With the transformation to digital learning, more and more states are enacting policies and guidelines to support the implementation and utilization of digital instructional materials, applications and resources. This publication highlights how state policies and guidance are supporting the transformation to digital learning, specifically the policies and processes around the selection, curation, procurement and funding of digital instructional materials.

      • Topic Area:
      • Implementation
      • Overview Quality
      • Planning
      • Selection

      View Resource

    • State Procurement Case Studies

      Developed in collaboration with state and district digital learning leaders, instructional materials directors, procurement offices and academic officers, this publication highlights state level procurement case studies that share how states have effectively established and implemented policies for the procurement of high quality instructional materials and devices.

      • Topic Area:
      • Budget

      View Resource

    • TEC Data Platform

      TEC Data Platform is an online library of edtech market pricing data specifically developed for school districts. TEC worked with Lea(R)n, using LearnPlatform as the unified edtech management ecosystem that allows for the collection and analysis of district technology contracts. The platform allows member districts to access price reports on the products they are considering for first-time purchase or renewal.

      • Topic Area:
      • Budget
      • Selection

      View Resource

  • Technology

    When considering digital instructional materials, in addition to the quality standards for print materials, leaders need to ensure that the materials will be easily and seamlessly accessible for all learners. In addition, the digital version of materials should leverage technology tools and resources so that it is dynamic, interactive and engaging.

    Key Questions

    • If digital, how will you deliver the content ? Do you use a content delivery system/learning management system?
    • Is the content dynamic ? Does the digital version offer more than a simple PDF of the text ? Does it leverage technology tools to provide interaction and customization?
    • Is the content fully accessible ?
    • Is the content interoperable across systems ?
    • Does your school/district have the technology capacity to deliver content efficiently and effectively?
      • Does your school/district have adequate internet access to fully utilize the instructional materials (i.e., speed, reliability)?
      • Do students have ubiquitous device access in school?
      • Do students and teachers have ubiquitous device access out of school?
      • Is the broadband infrastructure sufficient for simultaneous access for most users?
      • Is wi-fi available on campus in all learning spaces ?
      • Do all students and teachers have internet access at home, and/or the community to effectively utilize the instructional material at any time?
    • Broadband Imperative II: Equitable Access for Learning

      This SETDA report advocates for increasing robust broadband access both in and out of school to best prepare all students for college and careers. Recommendations include: Increase Infrastructure to Support Student-Centered Learning, Design Infrastructure to Meet Capacity Targets, Ensure Equity of Access for All Students Outside of School,  Leverage State Resources to Increase Broadband Access.

      • Topic Area:
      • Implementation
      • Planning
      • Resources

      View Resource

    • State Wi-Fi Leadership for Fostering Digital Learning Ready K12 Schools

      This paper explores the steps states are taking to address the wireless equity gaps that exist among their schools. Leaders from Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah outline the planning, policy, funding, and management approaches their state agencies and education technology leaders are adopting regarding Wi-Fi, and they share their recommendations for promoting and/or creating equitable access opportunities to high-quality Wi-Fi connectivity.

      • Topic Area:
      • Considerations
      • Implementation

      View Resource

LEADERSHIP - TECHNOLOGY - INNOVATION - LEARNING
©2018 SETDA, All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy