Hot Off The ePress: DLN Ebook

Today, Digital Learning Now! (DLN), released a new ebook —  “Navigating the Digital Shift: Implementation Strategies for Blended and Online Learning.” Over the last year, we’ve worked in association with Digital Learning Now! to produce the DLN Smart Series – a collection of eight white papers that explored implementation challenges at the intersection of digital learning and the Common Core State Standards. The papers brought together additional experts from iNACOL, CompetencyWorks, The Learning Accelerator, and Public Impact to shine a light on the key issues and challenges at the crossroads created by these overlapping opportunities. “Navigating the Digital Shift” is  a two part collection of these updated papers and the newly released Blended Learning Implementation Guide, Version 2.0.

The ebook includes a welcome from Governor Jeb Bush, Founder and Chairman of ExcelinEd, where he explains that “Blended and online learning offer a new universe of content, opportunity and differentiated instruction, truly placing the student at the center of the learning experience.”

To download the ebook, visit Digital Learning Now! Smart Series or download it from Amazon, iTunes, or Google Books.

The full press release is copied below.

New Digital Learning Now! Ebook Released
Publication Provides Implementation Guidance on the Shift to Digital Learning

Seattle, Wash., October 10, 2013 Digital Learning Now! (DLN), a national initiative under the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), in association with Getting Smart, has published a new ebook, “Navigating the Digital Shift: Implementation Strategies for Blended and Online Learning.” The ebook explores the implementation challenges at the intersection of digital learning and the Common Core State Standards.

Co-authored by John Bailey, Carri Schneider and Tom Vander Ark, “Navigating the Digital Shift” offers updated versions of white papers originally released in the DLN Smart Series including contributions from 11 authors representing leading organizations such as Public Impact, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), CompetencyWorks and The Learning Accelerator. Topics include strategies for blended learning implementation, how technology can improve teaching conditions and careers, the potential of competency-based learning, the opportunities of secure student data to empower personalized learning, and the reality of online learning for students and teachers.

In his welcome for the ebook, Governor Jeb Bush, Founder and Chairman of ExcelinEd, explains, “Blended and online learning offer a new universe of content, opportunity and differentiated instruction, truly placing the student at the center of the learning experience.”

“Our work in states across the country has revealed that education leaders are ready to make the shift, but need resources to support their work,” said Digital Learning Now! Executive Director John Bailey. “This ebook offers the first resource of its kind, bringing together everything from school-level implementation advice to state and national policy considerations.”

“We have an unprecedented national opportunity to boost achievement by personalizing learning for all students,” said Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart. “This ebook will help school leaders prioritize next steps and will encourage policymakers to improve opportunity set for schools and families.”

“The ebook is the start of an important conversation, not the end of one,” said Carri Schneider, Getting Smart Director of Policy and Research. “We love to hear from leaders across the country to inform our work so that we can continue to collect and report on what schools need to successfully navigate the shift.”

To download the ebook, visit or download it from Amazon, iTunes, or Google Books.

Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtags: #SmartSeries, #OnlineLearning and #DigLn. DLN is active on Facebook at and Twitter at @DigLearningNow. Find Getting Smart at and Twitter at @Getting_Smart. We encourage you to share your stories and keep us informed about how our work can support your needs by emailing us at [email protected]

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What They’re Saying About “Navigating the Digital Shift”

Dr. Mark Edwards, Mooresville Graded School District Superintendent & AASA 2013 Superintendent of the Year
“I always pay careful attention to the work and leadership of Digital Learning Now! and Getting Smart. The DLN Smart Series provides meaningful, practical, and poignant advice as well as commentary regarding the move to college and career ready standards associated with the shift to personal online learning and digital resources. By putting the series together into one ebook, these organizations have addressed the key implementation challenges of these inter-related shifts in one great resource. I highly recommend this resource to all district and school leaders!”

Stacey Childress, Deputy Director of Education Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“As we’ve seen with responses to the Next Generation Learning Challenges, the road forward holds the promise of more personalized learning for students and better tools, conditions and career options for teachers. Next-gen learning opportunities will only scale with thoughtful public policies in place–particularly at the state level. The Digital Learning Now! Smart Series explored the big policy questions of the day and offered sensible advice for state and local policy makers. The update to the Blended Learning Implementation Guide is a useful contribution to the field. The path forward is an exciting one; it will be more productive if we continue the sort of dialog advanced by the Smart Series.”

Alex Hernandez, Partner, Charter School Growth Fund
“The opportunity of our generation is to use all the advances we have made in teaching and learning, assessment, cognitive science, technology, etc. to create schools that offer each child the instruction and support they need, when they need it. This simple, yet beautiful ideal harkens back to the one-room schoolhouse, where teachers guided students of many different ages and abilities so each could realize their individual potential. Over a century later, the idea of personalized learning is embraced by a majority of families yet elusive to find in practice. The good news is a new generation of educators are designing schools that challenge, inspire and support students more than we ever thought possible. The Digital Learning Now! Smart Series is a trusted guide on our quest for better ways to learn.”

Deborah A. Gist, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
“Over the past decade, our world and our expectations have changed dramatically. The skills our students need to succeed are significantly different today from what students needed to know and be able to do just 10 years ago. To prepare our students for success in the 21st century, we need to rethink learning, rethink schools, and take advantage of all of the resources available to us. One step in transforming education is ensuring that all schools are ready to embrace and use technology – not merely as a tool, a resource, or an add-on but as an essential element in the process of teaching and learning. The Digital Learning Now! Smart Series continues to be an invaluable resource that will help educators re-imagine what our schools can look like and what our students can accomplish.”

Susan Patrick, President & CEO, iNACOL
“I am excited for the transformation in education and avalanche of next generation learning because of what it portends for the future of kids. Blended and online learning have the potential to boost equity, improve access to educational opportunity, and dramatically improve achievement. Personalizing learning is a goal for every teacher and, soon, each student will have the opportunity to access transformed, student-centered learning environments supported by the best digital tools for individualizing how and when they learn – engaging and accelerating toward success in today’s globalized, mobile, connected society.”


Digital Learning Now! is a national initiative under the Foundation for Excellence in Education, with the goal of advancing state policies that create a high-quality digital learning environment to better equip all students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in this 21st-century economy. The policy framework stems from the belief that access to high-quality, customized learning experiences should be available to all students, unbounded by geography or artificial policy constraints.

Getting Smart® is an advocacy firm passionate about innovations in learning. We help education organizations construct cohesive and forward-thinking strategies for branding, awareness, advancement and communication, and public and media relations. We are advocates for better K-12 education as well as early, post-secondary and informal learning opportunities for all students. We attempt to accelerate and improve the shift to digital learning. On we cover important events, trends, products, books, and reports.

Digital Learning Now! is a Getting Smart Advocacy Partner.

Jessica Slusser

Jessica is the Senior Director of Impact at Getting Smart. She leads business development and growth of advocacy campaigns, advisory services, product development, marketing, and Getting Smart's blog. As part of her role, Jessica also oversees team events, conferences, and speaking engagements.

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