Click: for the Nevada Digital and Blended Learning Guide.
Letter from the Superintendent of Public Instruction
Dear Nevada Educators, School and District Leaders, and Communities:
In March 2020, the world changed forever. While digital learning had been an instructional option growing in popularity for several years, COVID-19 emphasized the need for flexible modes of instructional delivery, both immediately and into the future.
Our education system must evolve to meet the transformations in the world at this moment. Around the country – and the globe – schools are evolving to modernize the ways teachers teach and students learn. This means we must replace traditional, time-based structures with new innovative, mastery-based, student-centered learning models.
Nevada’s educators and school leaders are driving this transformation to redefine teaching and learning. New approaches aim to ensure that all students build knowledge and skills, can apply those skills to real-world problems, and can build the competencies they need to become lifelong learners.
When used effectively in online, hybrid, or face-to-face environments, digital tools can accelerate sound pedagogical practices and facilitate student growth as lifelong, empowered learners.
Some of the benefits of strategic use of technology to support learning include:
- Promoting active student engagement in the learning process
- Nurturing opportunities for ongoing collaboration with peers, educators, families, and a global community of experts
- Building on prior knowledge to deeply reinforce essential skills, such as executive functioning, critical thinking and reasoning, creativity, communication, cross-cultural understanding, and decision-making
- Providing means of authentically connecting students’ learning to the world beyond their physical learning environment
- Fostering student agency to set personal learning goals and plans and continuously monitor and evaluate their own progress
The current moment provides a unique opportunity for the education system to shift towards a redefined learning model in which technology is not perceived as a supplementary resource but a core tool to ensure student success.
To support schools in the effective implementation of technology to support learning, the Nevada Digital / Blended Learning Guide (“Digital Guide”) provides strategies to build educator and system capacity.
The Digital Guide is based on foundational, research-based, digital learning practices, including engaging in personal interaction, building classroom communities, promoting collaboration, incorporating authentic assessment, designing active learning activities, and cultivating student-centered opportunities to build agency.
While the Digital Guide does not provide a one-size-fits-all solution, you can access a broad array of topics related to digital and blended learning, then modify and adjust your plan based on the needs of educators and the students whom you serve.
The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) encourages districts to take stock of their strengths as well as their needs, and to continue a path forward that is both realistic and sustainable.
NDE is committed to supporting districts as they continue to implement robust, comprehensive digital and blended learning programs that support the vision statement of the Nevada State Board of Education: “All Nevada students are equipped and feel empowered to attain their vision of success.”
As we evolve our plans to serve our children, we must collaborate daily, not only as local educators, counselors, specialists, social workers, support staff, administrators, and board members, but also across districts, across states, and across the country. Only with this type of partnership can we create a better Nevada, for each and every one of our children.
It was H.L. Mencken, the famous journalist, who once said, “For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.” No simple solutions, no experts, no individuals have all of the answers for this pedagogical shift; we must work together to share challenges, solutions, and opportunities.
In closing, I want to emphasize that those of you who work in our schools do a phenomenal job of providing for the needs of our students, often under extraordinarily difficult conditions. I thank you for your tireless work and service, especially during the last two school years. This Digital Guide is intended to provide support, insight, and assistance for you, and I hope it can initiate a collaborative effort to continue evolving our educational system in a way that meets the needs of our students, now and into the future.
Jhone M. Ebert
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
The State of Nevada is Re-imagining Learning
The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) is designing cross-curricular learning resources that incorporate digital/ blended learning strategies in everyday instructional practices through the Nevada Digital Learning Collaborative (NvDLC).
Digital learning is no longer an “if” in Nevada’s educational system, but it is now a critical component of all daily instruction, either in a school building or in ANY other learning setting.
NvDLC’s mission is to ensure every educator, student, and family member has access and support for digital learning to successfully navigate the online and blended learning environments across Nevada through professional learning and curricular resources.
The NvDLC has three main focus areas:
● Provide support to bridge the digital divide for students and families,
● Provide and support educators with high quality and standards aligned statewide K-12
curriculum and content, and
● Provide professional learning to educators on incorporating the instructional shifts of the daily
integration of digital learning.
How To Use This Guide
This guide is designed to provide important resources and recommendations to support district, school, and educator implementation of digital learning. Digital learning is defined as any instructional practice that effectively uses content and instruction that is delivered online, whether through remote instruction or in-person instruction. Students are enrolled in a school district or charter school and may access content from multiple settings—in school and/or out of school buildings, and instruction may be synchronous (participants interact in real time) or asynchronous (communication is separated by time, such as e-mail or online discussion forums). Each section in this guide includes key considerations, guiding strategies, resources, and reflection questions to help guide your thinking and planning in a way that will be specific to your particular situation and the unique needs of your students.
Addenda and Feedback
As large as this guide currently is, we recognize that there are still components that need to be included. Those items will be added as addenda as time goes on. We welcome community and stakeholder feedback. Please reach out to us with your comments.