Our vision for the future: four things I know

Last week I was at the Center for Digital Education’s DELC conference. DELC stands for Digital Education Leadership Conversation — and conversation is the key word there. The presentations, discussions, and collaborations at the event were inspiring. They were also affirming, as our vision for our Mobile Learning Essentials solution seems right on track for what districts need and where education is heading.

Four things I know:

1. Reporting is essential.

You can’t improve if you don’t know your baseline, and you can’t properly allocate limited resources if you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t. More than just data, though, districts need actionable information, presented through visual dashboards that can be drilled into for detail. And all that data needs to be visible from the top — so from district leaders to individual teachers everyone can see the information they need. Too many solutions, including most LMS solutions on the market, keep data in silos. That’s why soon we’ll be unveiling our Mobile Learning Essentials Dashboard and enhanced My Big Campus reporting, both of which will allow classroom data to roll up to district leaders, and data about district programs to roll down to classroom teachers.

Reporting

2. Content is still king.

The greatest learning platforms are nothing if they aren’t full of great, standards-aligned content. And the best content is untapped if it isn’t part of a learning platform. I’m excited to announce integration of Safari Montage and Nettrekker/Knowvation content, joining NBC Learn content and the best open and educator-created resources in our My Big Campus library where they’re standard-aligned and ready to use in lessons, assignments, and assessments.

3. Technology doesn’t just automatically make things easier.

Of course technology has the potential to improve learning through personalization, anytime/anywhere mobility, and global collaboration. But it doesn’t just happen. What does just happen is dead device batteries and disparate, disconnected solutions and snow days and students sneaking to play games — or worse. Teachers need solutions that provide easy management for all the technology in the classroom so that it can have a real impact on learning. That’s why next week we’re launching the latest addition to our Mobile Learning Essentials solution: Classroom Orchestrator. Classroom Orchestrator lets teachers keep students engaged and on track by monitoring activity and progress with a dashboard view of all student device screens.

4. PD is the key to it all.

All of that great reporting, content, and management? They’re nothing if teachers aren’t taught to effectively utilize technology and integrate it into classroom practices. It’s about working and learning together. From our Implementation Experts to our Training Portal to our Professional Learning Communities in our Community Site and My Big Campus, we’ll spend 2015 true to our core philosophy: Always be learning, always be teaching. That’s how we can connect you with each other, with us, and with great resources to make the most of our solutions and other technology.

I go to a lot of conferences, meet with a lot of schools, and talk to a lot of amazing ed-tech visionaries. Thank you for continuing to have these conversations with us so we can continue to provide the solutions you need to transform learning and help every student succeed.

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