Systems Framework for Digital Environments

While studying the needs of teacher professional development in a digital age, I wondered what is the optimal way in which to promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment. One knows the school leadership establishes the goals and develops the process that supports and sustains the environment that allows teachers to innovate classrooms with digital learning. Considering this, how can administrators increase and promote digital learning in the classroom and school.

Jean Tower, who is a director of media and digital learning, writes regarding planning tools developed by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), for districts and schools moving toward a digital learning environment. The systems framework that they developed has 10 implementation categories that help group these best practices and explains how they integrate with the 21st century skills and academic content. Acknowledged is the ambitiousness, the amount of work and professional community shifts that are supported through intentional professional development.

Before a technology plan is initiated, districts have to provide the resources that will be needed by the infrastructure. Connectivity for the schools and the community need to be robust and support the implemented technology. The technology used should be informed by scalability, but more importantly based on sustainability.

A plan starts with shared leadership and vision. To achieve the vision, goals are established and used to evaluate progress; the outcomes are required to be measurable. Shared evidence from these measurements can redefine processes, distributing practices and reflecting on goals. Guidelines, procedures and policies should be addressed, as issues become known. Student’s security and privacy should be the priority and educator needs for technology should be addressed.

It is awe inspiring to see those who are successful, especially when one understands what is required.


Bishop, D, Lumpe, A., Henrikson, R, & Crane, C. (2016). Transforming Professional Learning in Washington State – Project Evaluation Report. Seattle Pacific University: Seattle, WA.
Cavanagh, S. (2013, October 04). A Blueprint for Bringing Digital Tools Into Schools. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from
Tower, J. (2017, January 16). CoSN’s Planning Tool Helps Schools Move to a Digital Environment. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology. (2016). Future Ready Learning Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education 2016
Why Connected Learning? (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2017, from

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3 thoughts on “Systems Framework for Digital Environments

  1. What is required really is HUGE! I agree; it is awe-inspiring to see districts successfully vision and implement in the service of student learning.

  2. “It is awe inspiring to see those who are successful, especially when one understands what is required.”

    SO TRUE! Input from “key stakeholders” barely covers just how much input from diverse groups of people is necessary before an initiative can even move forward when working at the district/state level (even more so then!)

  3. I can’t agree more how important it is that districts “provide the resources that will be needed by the infrastructure.” Scalability and sustainability are huge factors to consider as well. My school is going to be a total tear down and re build in the next few years, and planning forums are already hard at work. It is so amazing the see the plans for the future, many of which revolve around technology and innovative learning spaces. Sustainability is a topic that is always on everyone’s mind. Your post highlighted some things that really hit home for me. You laid them out in an engaging, clear and concise way!

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