The Digital Content Consortium started their work in the summer/fall of 2013 and have continued to support digital content creation throughout the 2013-2014 school year. After almost a year of supporting their teachers throughout this process, district leaders have learned a lot along the way. Below you will find their advice.
- Provide digital curriculum work days for staff. Many teachers who are effective in a traditional content writing atmosphere struggle with transferring their skills into the digital world. It is important for teachers to understand that the content they are writing needs to be as rigorous and relevant as their non-digital lessons, and rigorous and relevant digital content is harder to create than they will expect it to be.
- Start slow, especially if you are training teachers who are not technology "rock stars." There has to be a foundation established first about the concept of transitioning to digital content as more than a replacement for paper/pencil (substitution).
- Allow teachers plenty of time to get comfortable with their devices and the learning management system first before focusing on content creation. It is a slow process to make this shift to digital, online learning especially for some.
- Set realistic expectations for all staff with regard to digital content writing (one lesson, one chapter, one standard, etc.) instead too high of expectations. Get an early win to build confidence in this arena!
- Encourage teachers to collaborate with one another when creating. Do not reinvent the wheel.
- Get building administrators on board and partner up with them if possible. Get teachers to help in the decision making. Have everyone work together toward a common goal.