As some may know, and many may not, the Office of Digital Literacy was a new department formed as of July 1, 2018. The department was created through reorganization of roles throughout the ELSC. For example, the Associate Superintendent position was not hired, but re-casted into the Executive Director role Craig Barnum holds. Additionally, the Associate Director role was shifted from Special Services to this department. The other pieces, data analysts, student information system administrator, and accessibility coach were also brought to the department from other departments.
So, who are we? The Office of Digital Literacy encompasses the student information system and procedures, data analytics, accessibility, and the implementation of digital literacy for staff and students. We believe in creating accessible and equitable environments for all students to have a plan, path, and passion for their future. We strive to hold all our interactions with the students’ best interest in mind.
With the new year quickly approaching, we were reflecting on how much we have to celebrate as a newly formed department. We’d like to take a moment to share our “Top 10 Celebrations” since our onset to serving you.
- The department has created a logo and website to help brand ourselves. While branding may seem minimal, we feel it is important to have an imprint throughout the district that allows us to communicate how we serve you. With a brand, people can recognize our supports and know who to ask for questions.
- Building Administrative Assistant Meetings:
- The department has taken the lead to organize 90-minute learning sessions with building administrative assistants. This learning will lead to coherence through the system and allow our buildings to work interdependently. Shout out to Melissa Sadelick and Craig Barnum for organizing these!
- Starting soon, Tableau will be our data visualization tool. This tool will allow for teachers and administrators to filter and manipulate real time data to make informed decisions. Shout out to Matt Kempf and our technology department for their work on this process!
- Data Clean Up and Processes:
- Shout out to our Data Analysts, Matt Kempf and Angela Billman, along with Craig Barnum, as we continue to tighten data entry processes. As they say, “Dirty data in equals dirty data out.” These processes will impact everything from teacher PLCs to transportation to health services.
- Future Ready Librarians:
- The teacher librarians throughout the district have been meeting regularly on blue dot Fridays, as well as, monthly learning at GWAEA to study the Future Ready Framework. This work will allow them to be your support and advocate for everything that is digital literacy!
- Professional Learning Opportunities:
- Tara Troester gets all the credit for this one! Even though she’s not technically in our department, she wrote a computer science grant and we were awarded over $90,000 for our teachers. This money has allowed our teachers to gain additional certification in computer science and attend GWAEA workshops, ISTE 2019, and ITEC 2018, along with many more things. Additionally, the department has taken on organization and communication of the recertification professional learning course. Again, thanks to Melissa Sadileck for her organization!
- Adoption of a New Student Information System:
- As you are all aware, in November the Board approved the adoption of Infinite Campus as our new student information system. This was a two-month study and process that involved many stakeholder groups and their input. We are in the midst of transitioning and developing professional learning. Shout out to Tracy Milota for learning a new system as our system administrator.
- Adoption of a New Student Productivity and Collaboration Tool Set:
- This is another monumental task from the department. We went through a process of five nights and gathered input from K-12 teachers, staff, and students. The data and committee recommended moving to Google Suite. You can read more about it here.
- Systematic Processes for Formal Stakeholder Input:
- We are especially proud of this! We do our best work with input and feedback. To date, we’ve implemented feedback surveys, two study processes, listening sessions with all secondary schools, classroom walk-throughs, and countless informal, personal meetings with teachers. We know we are only as great as our teachers and staff!
- We understand and know there is sometimes a perception of lack of communication. We have really tried to close that gap through our department website, Twitter, staff email, and face-to-face communication. While we are not perfect and sometimes get ahead of ourselves, we know that trust is built through integrity, transparency, follow through, and COMMUNICATION.
…And our 2019 “Resolutions:”
For 2019, you can be on the lookout for more of the following as we start to ramp up our work:
- Professional learning opportunities:
- We are planning more opportunities for digital literacy professional learning surrounding the Profile of A Graduate, Google Suite, and Infinite Campus with our Technology Department, buildings, and Digital Learning Trainers.
- Collaboration with building leadership teams:
- We are currently working with secondary building administrators and hope to work with building HRS teams to develop high quality professional learning that is tailored to your building’s needs.
- System alignment:
- We are in plans to align with Instructional Services and CCT to create alignment between unit design, High Reliability Schools, and NASOT to ensure digital literacy is an enhancement, not an add-on.
- We are working with Akwi Nji to develop a tight communication plan to ensure communication flows through the proper channels at the right times. We are really excited about the upcoming opportunities to interact with internal and external stakeholders.