On this page, you will find charts that represent a cross-section of the survey questions included in the Digital Learning Survey. The charts are inclusive of all five gears of the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan and include a brief explanation of the data shown. This is the sixth year of the longitudinal survey and the data within can be leveraged to identify trends. Archived versions of previous surveys can be found in the menu on the left of the page.
Hover over each chart to view the exact numbers of each data subset.
Gear 1: Instruction, Learning, and Assessment
The Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan Gear 1 focuses on instruction, learning, and assessment. The aim of Gear 1 is to promote effective and engaging teaching and learning, which is supported by instructional technology.
Instruction: The Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan recognizes that instruction needs to be tailored to meet the needs of each individual student. It encourages teachers to use technology to create engaging, interactive, and personalized learning experiences for their students. The Plan also emphasizes the importance of teacher professional development to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively integrate technology into instruction.
Learning: The Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan promotes the use of technology to enhance student learning. It encourages the use of digital tools and resources that can provide students with opportunities to think critically, collaborate, create, and communicate with others. The Plan also recognizes the importance of providing students with equitable access to technology to support their learning.
Assessment: The Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan recognizes the potential of technology to transform assessment practices. It encourages the use of digital tools to create assessments that are more engaging, meaningful, and aligned with learning objectives. The Plan also emphasizes the importance of providing students with timely and constructive feedback on their learning.
Gear 1 of the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan aims to leverage technology to create more engaging, effective, and personalized teaching and learning experiences, while also ensuring that all students have access to the technology they need to succeed.
The above chart shows that 40% of schools districts reported their review/selection process for instructional materials, resources, and tools align with the Triple E Framework.
The Triple E Framework, also known as the Engage, Enhance, and Extend Framework, is a pedagogical approach used in education to help students develop deeper understanding and mastery of a subject. The three components of the framework are as follows:
Engage: This stage focuses on capturing students' attention and interest, and building their background knowledge of a subject. The goal is to make the content relevant, accessible, and meaningful to the students.
Enhance: This stage focuses on deepening students' understanding and mastery of the subject. The teacher provides activities and experiences that allow students to actively construct their own knowledge and make connections to the content.
Extend: This stage focuses on expanding students' understanding and application of the subject beyond the classroom. The teacher provides opportunities for students to apply their knowledge in real-world contexts, collaborate with others, and engage in independent inquiry.
The Triple E Framework is designed to be flexible and adaptable to different subjects, grades, and learning styles. It is based on the idea that students learn best when they are actively engaged in the learning process and when they have opportunities to reflect, apply, and connect their learning to real-world experiences.
The above chart shows that many Wisconsin districts leverage a wide range of tools and resources to support their online/digital learning opportunities. While there has not been a huge increase in the past year, the longitudinal data shows a large amount observable growth. For example, the percentage of districts utilizing Distance Learning during the 2017-18 year was 18% and this year's survey showed that 53% of districts are now reporting that they are using Distance Learning for students. Additionally, districts using free online sources rose from 21% during 17-18 to 74% this past year. Lastly, the 17-18 school year reported that 25% of districts use structured online classes and that has risen to 70% of districts!
The above chart shows that at least 89% of districts reported that they provide instruction in computer literacy, digital citizenship, cybersecurity and information literacy. The largest jump in this area from last year was in the area of cybersecurity. The 2021-2022 survey showed 65% of districts reporting that they provide instruction in cybersecurity. That has risen to 73% this year! Educating K-12 students in cybersecurity is important for several reasons:
Personal safety and privacy: Children and teenagers use technology extensively, from smartphones to social media, and they need to understand how to keep their personal information safe and avoid potential dangers online. Cybersecurity education can help them learn about online safety and privacy protection.
Cybercrime prevention: Cybercrime is on the rise, and it is important for K-12 students to understand the risks and how to prevent them. By educating students about cybersecurity, they can become more aware of the potential dangers and learn how to protect themselves against cyber threats.
Career opportunities: Cybersecurity is a growing field with a high demand for skilled professionals. Educating K-12 students in cybersecurity can prepare them for future career opportunities and help bridge the current skills gap in the industry.
Digital citizenship: With the increasing use of technology in everyday life, it is important for students to become responsible digital citizens. Cybersecurity education can teach them how to behave ethically online and use technology in a responsible manner.
Educating K-12 students in cybersecurity is crucial to preparing the next generation for a digital future and protecting them from potential cyber threats.
The above chart shows very little change from the 2021-2022 school year in the percentage of districts utilizing UDL in their instructional practices. Instructional technology can play a crucial role in implementing the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), which is an approach to designing curriculum and instruction that is accessible and inclusive for all learners, regardless of their individual differences, including disabilities, language barriers, cultural backgrounds, and learning preferences. Here are some ways that instructional technology can support UDL:
Multiple Means of Representation: Technology can provide various formats for presenting information, such as video, audio, graphics, and text-to-speech, which can accommodate diverse learners' needs and preferences.
Multiple Means of Action and Expression: Technology can provide various tools and resources for students to demonstrate their learning, such as online discussions, interactive games, and multimedia presentations, which can allow for different ways of expressing knowledge and skills.
Multiple Means of Engagement: Technology can provide various ways to engage learners, such as simulations, virtual field trips, and interactive activities, which can increase motivation and interest in learning.
Personalization and Differentiation: Technology can provide adaptive and personalized learning experiences based on learners' individual needs, such as through intelligent tutoring systems, adaptive assessments, and learning analytics, which can facilitate individualized instruction and support.
Instructional technology can help educators to create more inclusive and accessible learning environments that support the principles of UDL and promote equitable opportunities for all learners.
There are two different categories of Virtual Learning Time (VLT). The first category is the use of online virtual digital learning on a regular basis. This could include fully virtual, blended, or hybrid learning. Blended learning and hybrid learning are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences between them.
Blended learning, also known as "mixed-mode learning," is an educational approach that combines online learning with traditional classroom instruction. In a blended learning environment, students are required to complete a portion of their coursework online, either individually or in a group, and the remaining coursework is completed in a face-to-face setting, often in a classroom.
Hybrid learning, on the other hand, is a more flexible form of learning that combines online and face-to-face instruction in a more fluid manner. In a hybrid learning environment, students can choose to attend classes in person or online, depending on their individual needs or preferences. Hybrid learning often relies on video conferencing technology to allow students to participate in classroom instruction from a remote location.
The chart above shows that over 75% of the districts who responded to the survey take part in this type of VLT.
The second category of VLT requires districts to have a plan in place that leverages innovative instructional design for any type of inclement situation, creative calendar options, or innovative programming. These could include, but are not limited to, inclement weather closure, less heating days for the school building, a maintenance issue that causes the physical school building to be inaccessible, days when only ACT testing students are at the school, etc. This type of VLT is not long-term remote learning but rather short-term continuity of learning.
The above chart shows that 40% of the districts who responded to the survey have this type of plan in place.
Many districts across Wisconsin utilize a Digital Classroom Platform (i.e. Google Classroom) or Learning Management System, LMS (Canvas, Schoology, etc.) to organize, manage, deliver, and track educational content and progress. While Digital Classroom Platforms and Learning Management Systems are not exactly the same, both enable teachers and students to interact and collaborate in a virtual classroom setting. These vital resources often have user-friendly interfaces, the capacity to create and manage courses and coursework, communication and collaboration tools, student tracking and analytics, integration with other instructional technology tools, customization, personalization, as well as security and data privacy.
These reasons explain why the above chart shows that ONLY 7% of the districts who responded to the survey do NOT utilize one of these tools.
Gear 2: Technology, Networking and Hardware
Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan Gear 2 focuses on the technology, networking, and hardware necessary to support digital learning in Wisconsin. Here are some key aspects of Gear 2:
Technology infrastructure: The Plan emphasizes the need for high-speed, reliable internet connections and robust network infrastructure to support digital learning. Schools and districts must ensure that their networks can handle the increased bandwidth demands of online learning.
Device access: The Plan calls for providing students with access to digital devices, such as laptops or tablets, to support digital learning. Schools and districts must ensure that students have access to appropriate devices and that those devices are reliable and up-to-date.
Digital content and resources: The Plan emphasizes the need for high-quality, accessible digital content and resources to support digital learning. Schools and districts must ensure that students have access to digital resources that are aligned with their curricula and that support their learning needs.
This graph shows that a majority of K-12 students across our state have assigned access to a digital learning device. Assigning an individual computing device to K-12 students can provide access to digital resources, promote equity, prepare students for the future, facilitate personalization, and promote collaboration. These benefits can help enhance the learning experience and prepare students for success in the digital age.
Developing an integrated professional learning plan for staff to support a digitally rich classroom environment involves a systematic approach to ensure that educators are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to use digital tools effectively in teaching and learning. These such plans require identifying learning goals, accessing current knowledge, developing a curriculum, selecting appropriate training methods, creating a schedule, providing resources and support, and evaluating the professional learning plan. The chart above shows that well over half of the districts in Wisconsin that responded to the survey have a professional learning plan such as this in place.
High-speed broadband internet at home is crucial for K-12 students in many ways. In today's increasingly digital world, high-speed internet access has become a necessary tool for education as online learning has become a vital part of the educational landscape. Without high-speed broadband, students may miss out on critical learning opportunities and struggle to keep up with their coursework. The above graph shows that 91% of the districts that responded to the survey report that more than half of their student body has access to this essential resource.
The data collected also showed a trend of districts (38%) who responded that they utilize their own students to provide tech support in their districts. This tech support may take place during the school day or during the summer. 66% of this tech support is connected to the student's own academic and career planning pathway. The above chart shows the breakdown of the different opportunities this is affording students in Wisconsin to keep their skills competitive with their peers throughout the US and the world.
Gear 3: Empowering and Innovative Leadership
The third gear of the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan is "Empowering and Innovative Leadership." This gear focuses on the importance of leadership in implementing and sustaining digital learning initiatives in schools.
To effectively implement digital learning, schools need strong leaders who are knowledgeable about the benefits and challenges of technology integration. Leaders must be able to create a culture that supports digital learning and provides the necessary resources for success. They must also be able to collaborate with stakeholders, including teachers, students, parents, and community members, to ensure that digital learning meets the needs of all learners.
Digital learning plans are a framework by which districts can lay out their priorities for 21st century learning. Digital learning plans help to ensure that all students have access to high-quality education, regardless of their location or socio-economic background. In Wisconsin, where there are many rural and remote areas, digital learning plans can help bridge the gap between students who live in urban areas and those who live in more isolated regions.
Digital learning plans can also help school districts meet the needs of diverse learners, including those with special needs, those who are gifted and talented, and those who are English language learners. By using digital tools and resources, teachers can differentiate instruction to meet the needs of individual students.
In addition, Digital learning plans help prepare students for the future by supporting the teaching and learning of essential skills such as digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving. These skills are becoming increasingly important in the 21st century workforce and are necessary for success in the workforce, in post-secondary education and beyond.
Digital learning plans can also assist in making learning more engaging and interactive for students. By incorporating multimedia content, simulations, and interactive activities, teachers can create a more dynamic and engaging learning experience that is more likely to hold students' attention.
Lastly, digital learning plans can help teachers be more effective by providing them with access to a wider range of resources and tools. By using digital platforms for lesson planning, collaboration, and communication, teachers can streamline their workflow and improve their effectiveness in the classroom. For these reasons, over half of the districts that responded to the survey indicated (see chart above) that they either have a digital learning plan in place in their district currently or that one is in the works to be implemented in the future.
The districts that indicated that they presently have a digital learning plan or that have one is in progress showed their commitment to making that plan a priority by aligning it (at least somewhat) with their current district strategic or continuous improvement plan. (See graph above)
Gear 4: Professional Learning and Building Capacity
Gear 4 of the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan focuses on professional learning and building capacity. The goal of this gear is to provide educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively integrate technology into the classroom, improve student learning outcomes, and support the development of digital citizenship skills in their students. At the district level, this goal is achieved by providing ongoing professional learning opportunities, developing and supporting teacher leaders, encouraging collaboration and sharing, integrating technology into pre-service and in-service teacher education,and providing access to instructional technology tools and digital resources.
The above chart shows the breakdown of staff positions and the percent of each spending at least 15 hours per year on professional learning in the area of technology or instructional technology integration. These numbers have remained relatively steady since last year's survey.
Professional learning opportunities in districts that have a high level of impact are necessary for the success of instructional technology integration. The above table shows the types of professional learning opportunities districts have reported as having a high level of impact on their student learning outcomes.
Micro-credentialing for teachers has become a popular trend in the United States over the past few years. Micro-credentials are digital badges or certifications that teachers can earn by demonstrating mastery of a specific skill or competency. These credentials are often offered by professional organizations, universities, and ed-tech companies.
One of the main reasons for the rise in popularity of micro-credentialing is that it provides teachers with a way to demonstrate their expertise in specific areas, which can be particularly useful when applying for new job opportunities or seeking career advancement. Micro-credentials are often more focused and targeted than traditional professional development opportunities, which can make them more appealing to educators who want to improve their skills in a specific area.
In addition, micro-credentialing can be a more flexible and personalized way for teachers to learn and develop new skills. Teachers can choose which micro-credentials to pursue based on their own interests and needs, and they can often complete the requirements for earning a micro-credential on their own schedule.
Another factor contributing to the popularity of micro-credentialing is the growing recognition of the importance of personalized and competency-based learning. Micro-credentials align well with this approach, as they allow educators to demonstrate mastery of specific competencies and skills.
The trend of micro-credentialing for teachers shows no signs of slowing down, as more and more educators are seeking out these opportunities to improve their skills and advance their careers.
The above chart shows that the story is no different in Wisconsin where our level of school districts who are using micro-credentialing within their current professional learning programs and/or salary schedules, although small at this time, continues to increase with each passing year.
Gear 5: Data and Privacy
The fifth gear of the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan is data and privacy. This gear addresses the important issue of safeguarding student data and ensuring student privacy in the use of digital tools and resources.
In the context of the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan, the focus is on creating policies, procedures, and guidelines to ensure that student data is collected, used, and stored securely and that student privacy is protected in the use of digital tools and resources.
The key strategies for achieving the goals of the data and privacy gear include the following:
Develop and implement policies and procedures for data privacy and security: Schools and districts should develop clear policies and procedures for the collection, storage, and use of student data. These policies should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they are in line with current laws and best practices.
Provide training on data privacy and security: Teachers, administrators, and other staff should be trained on the proper use of digital tools and resources and the importance of safeguarding student data and privacy.
Use secure digital tools and resources: Schools and districts should select digital tools and resources that have appropriate security features to protect student data and privacy.
Provide transparency to parents and students: Parents and students should be informed of the types of data that are collected, how it is used, and who has access to it. This information should be provided in clear and accessible language.
Create a plan for responding to data breaches: Schools and districts should have a plan in place for responding to data breaches, including notifying affected parties, addressing the cause of the breach, and taking steps to prevent future breaches.
By implementing these strategies, schools and districts can ensure that student data is protected and that student privacy is maintained in the use of digital tools and resources.
A large majority of the school districts who responded to the survey say that they have online safety guidelines and training support for students who have access to a school-issued device, software and/or networks.