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Wisconsin Digital Learning Collaborative Update

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Wisconsin's Digital Learning Plan identifies the need to prepare students to be ready for college and career by providing access to high-quality digital resources, virtual and blended instruction, and technology-enhanced learning. Online and blended learning offers a variety of options for leveraging innovative student learning experiences and technologies to engage the digital generation meaningfully.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has created the Online and Blended Learning Guide for districts to better understand the Wisconsin policy, practice, research, and funding components behind this work. The website has resources to explore pathways for student programming, planning resources, learning models, funding resources, education options in Wisconsin, and essential conditions for program implementation.

Two collaborators, the Wisconsin Virtual School (CESA 9) and the Wisconsin eSchool Network, are partnering with the DPI to manage the WDLC. The goal is to provide one point of contact for school districts across the state to access high-quality digital learning resources equitably. Check out the WDLC Learning Library to hear from district partners on the benefits of the WDLC. Read the WDLC executive summary from the last budget cycle to understand the impact and support for schools and students across the state.

Schools of all sizes that want to realize the benefits of digital learning (specializing in Online and Blended learning) will find the Wisconsin Digital Learning Collaborative (WDLC) a helpful partner. Hear from Wisconsin school districts how the WDLC has supported their efforts and dig deeper into the various profiles of Wisconsin district partners by visiting these pages. The WDLC offers exciting professional learning and resources to help build leadership capacity, digital learning resources, and innovative partnerships through customized district pathway programming options. It’s another sign that opportunities for digital and blended learning have come a long way recently as the WDLC professional learning programming options support districts in this digital shift.

The WDLC specializes in offering “a wide variety of both online and blended learning opportunities that Wisconsin students can enroll in, and receive credit. All in their local school districts,” explains State Superintendent Tony Evers.

WDLC’s course catalog offers more than 450 courses in traditional settings, online, blended, or summer school virtual learning. The WDLC continues to support schools in balancing digital content authoring, various digital learning, and balanced online and blended implementation. More than half of the state’s schools are now using the WDLC in some capacity. An overview video and the list below describes the many benefits districts can leverage by utilizing the WLDC to personalize student learning options with these turnkey solutions, through:

  • expanded summer school course of content and course access for online and blended learning;
  • assistance with “growing your own” blended and online educators to help expand local programs;
  • comprehensive administrative planning and implementation support;
  • different pathways for implementing cost-effective, student-centered learning options;
  • vetting of digital materials, and matching academic standards leveraging Quality Matters;
  • procurement of digital content and learning assets that allow for reduced costs;
  • open education resource (OER) libraries that include learning assets, courses, and textbooks for Advanced Placement (WDLC has AP Board approved syllabi with OER textbooks) classes;
  • online tutoring service for students;
  • online, blended, and face-to-face professional training for educators, including free training with national author and Ready to Blend creator Heather Staker;
  • NROC resources for mathematics and English proficiency for post-academic and vocational programs, EdReady proficiency test prep programs, and Hippocampus repository of open education resources;
  • online mentor-coaches;
  • a student learning management system (LMS);
  • professional learning to help teachers provide digital learning experiences to students, and to mix and re-author digital content;
  • a professional learning management system (LMS) with badging and credentialing options;
  • a portal; and
  • technical support.

The WDLC will serve as the technical support partner for the new Federal Charter School Grants - Wisconsin Charter Schools Programs to assist schools with best practices in innovative digital learning and blended learning programming.

This spring the WDLC will host another Blended Learning cohort training with Heather Staker on April 24-25, 2018, to help district teams learn about models and draft implementation plans. More information will be coming in early February for districts to register.

Contact, Assistant Director for Digital Learning, for any additional questions or information about this story.