During a couple breakout sessions at a Rhode Island conference on Innovation Powered by Technology (#iptrideconf) I spent time with teachers and principals thinking about next steps as they prepare for the shift to personal digital learning.  We discussed 10 next steps:

1. Start the conversation. Ask a planning team to start by reading The Rise of Blended Learning and Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World.

2. Encourage classroom pilots using Edmodo because it’s easy to use across multiple screens/devices, it’s easy share content/lessons with other teachers.

3. Visit schools that are 1:1 (and/or high access) and getting results.

4. Expand options.  In high school, make available online all AP, world language, and advanced STEM courses.  In K-8, add a couple weekly computer math sessions featuring a personalized product like ST Math, Dreambox, or Reasoning Mind.

5. Stop buying print and look for a couple other budget categories where you can save a little money.

6. Lots of PD.  Support lots of learning experiences for staff but focus on just-in-time online support on a platform like Formative Learning. 

7.Pick a partner and a platform. You’ll need some advice and support.  Here’s 10 questions for Choosing the Right Platform.

8. Build a three year plan. You need six coordinated plans considering content and instruction, assessment and data, devices and broadband, staffing and professional development, fiscal impact, and communications.

9. Make the case to parent groups, community groups, and the school board.  Show how an upfront investment will result in improved achievement and a sustainable school model.

10. Listen hard and communicate clearly with state and community members about the intent, the goals, and the process.


This post drew from a related September post, 10 Things I’d Do Right Now as a Superintendent.  For more, see:

Edmodo and Formative Learning are portfolio companies of Learn Capital where Tom is a partner 


  1. Programmed methods on teaching are limited. They have only the benefit of those that supply the source of information.
    Spiritual Metaphysical information is infinite, There is no limit to it’s source.
    All teachings should include all possible sources and their benefits and how to get it.
    Plus it is most important that the motives or history of the program designers be investigated for the sake of
    free will of the learners.


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