Policy 7200, 21st Century and Digital Learning

To download a pdf version of this policy, click here.
 
PURPOSE
 

The Board of Trustees (“Board”) believes that all students, faculty, and staff should have regular opportunities to engage in learning activities that build the 21st Century competencies, technology skills, digital citizenship, and digital literacy skills required to thrive in a globally interconnected world. Learner-centered use of technologies such as mobile devices, smartphones, Internet access, collaboration and productivity tools, and online educational services provide learners with opportunities to learn and experience the world in ways not possible without technology. To be successful in careers and college, learners (students and educators) require learning environments that develop 21st Century competencies and regular access to technology, which shall be integrated into 21st Century instruction as a resource for learning. 1:1 (one-to-one) programs are the most educationally appropriate and efficient environments for 21st Century Learning.  Through this policy, and any associated regulations and procedures, the Washoe County School District (“District”) expresses its commitment to supporting innovative, learner-centered 21st Century environments and 1:1 programs, and to protecting students from harmful and obscene content.

POLICY

1.  Guiding Principles

a. Students best learn to use technology when the technology supports 21st Century competency development and students directly control the technology themselves.  

i.  21st Century Competencies refer to transferable skills, knowledge, expertise, and literacies needed to succeed in work and life, and thrive in a globally interconnected world, including the ability to process multiple forms of information, and communicate skillfully and exchange information across multiple contexts, such as home, school, the workplace, and social networks.


ii.  The District articulates six 21st Century Competencies: Collaboration, Knowledge Construction, Real-World Problem Solving and Innovation, Use of Technology for Learning, Self-Regulation, and Skilled Communication.


b.  The District actively seeks to implement 1:1 programs in which every student at a school is issued a District-provided Internet-accessible device. All schools with 1:1 programs shall focus on students’ development of 21st Century Competencies and the regular delivery of 21st Century-aligned instruction using student-centered technology and digital curricular and supplemental resources.


c.  The District will provide learner-centered educational experiences and a multitude of technology resources that help students:


i.  participate in 21st Century learning environments, with and without technology;


ii.    develop learner agency through collaboration, knowledge construction real-world problem solving and innovation, the use of technology for learning, self-regulation, and skilled communication;


iii.    appropriately select and use technology devices, collaborative tools, and online educational services for lifelong learning;


iv.    bridge the gap between formal (in-school) and informal (out-of-school) learning, improving students’ readiness for careers and college;

v.    safely and appropriately connect with peers, experts, and information resources within and outside school walls, through online and face-to-face learning environments designed to help students collaborate to achieve academically and acquire 21st Century competencies;


vi.    access and construct knowledge from multiple sources of information;


vii.    create and share work and real-world projects with broader audiences and obtain meaningful formative feedback; and


viii.    manage workflow using digital tools.


d.    The District will establish grade-level expectations for students and provide faculty and staff with technology resources and professional learning experiences that:


i.    advance instructional practices to help students develop 21st Century competencies;


ii.    incorporate and model appropriate uses of technology and technology concepts;


iii.    develop students’ digital literacy and digital citizenship skills;


iv.    utilize, model, and prepare educators to facilitate learning in face-to-face, online and hybrid formats;


v.    are frequently job-embedded, differentiated, “just-in-time,” and accessible on-demand;


vi.    facilitate workflow and formative instructional practices using digital tools and apps;


vii.    facilitate the engagement of parents/guardians; and


viii.    foster the development of online networks, learning teams, and communities of practice.


e.    The District will work to assure equity of technology access and technology-related educational opportunities.


2.  Guiding Practices


a.    The District shall enable 21st Century learning opportunities for students, faculty, and staff that encourage 21st Century learning outcomes and:


i.    Establish 21st Century competencies as the foundation for the regular use of digital media, internet content, collaborative and productivity software, and online educational services, by all students and teachers in safe, effective, appropriate ways that advance learner agency;


ii.    communicate District-wide grade-level expectations to guide 21st Century student outcomes, technology concepts, digital literacy, and digital citizenship for all students;


iii.    guide the development of an online resource for teachers to support 21st Century instructional planning and digital learning;


iv.    ensure the responsible use of technology and digital media through implementation of Responsible Use protocols that foster the development of responsible, ethical technology users, emphasize the educational and collaborative value of technology, and outline the expectations and responsibilities of anyone using the District’s network;


v.    ensure all students are educated in digital literacy, safe internet use, and digital citizenship;


vi.    ensure faculty and staff have access to online and hybrid professional learning opportunities;


vii.    provide all students, faculty and staff access to District-provided email accounts, to enable the use of appropriate online tools and resources;


viii.    ensure protection of students’ privacy in accordance with applicable laws;


ix.    establish, maintain, and administer a list of online educational resources approved for use in classrooms through a formal approval process including a responsive procedure for staff to request approval; and


x.    implement, as possible, 1:1 programs in schools, where every student in a school, without exception, is provided with a District-issued Internet-accessible device for their own use throughout the school day and at home;


xi.    establish procedures regulating 1:1 programs and guest network access at schools; and


xii.    deploy Internet filtering to ensure students’ online safety and compliance with relevant state and federal laws and regulations, to include the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) through


1. denial of access by students to inappropriate matter on the internet;


2. ensuring the safety and security of students when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications;


3. preventing unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking” and other unlawful activities by any users of the District’s network;


4. preventing unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding students; and


5. restricting students’ access to materials harmful to them.


b.    The Superintendent shall cause to be created administrative regulations, procedures and other governing documents necessary to implement the principles and practices described in this policy.

DEFINITIONS

1. 1:1 Program – a school-wide learning program focused on providing learner-centered 21st Century educational opportunities, digital skills, and innovative learning environments, where every student, without exception, is provided with a district-issued Internet-accessible device for their own use throughout the school day and at home.

2. Guest network refers to filtered and managed access to the Internet through District technology resources.

3. Hybrid learning refers to formal educational experiences in which students learn through a combination of online and face-to-face activities.

4. Just-in-time refers to learning and professional learning experiences that are available to learners at the precise time they are needed, whether online or face-to-face.

5. Mobile devices are portable computing devices capable of connecting wirelessly to the internet, including but not limited to laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

6. Online Educational Services refers to resources such as software, online resources, programs, applications, and apps that enable creation, communication, collaboration, data management, storage, and sharing of digital media resources, written text, etc. Examples include computer software, mobile applications (apps), and web-based tools provided by a third-party to the District that students and/or their parents access via the Internet and use as part of a school activity. The term “online educational services” does not apply to online services or social media that students may use in their personal capacity outside of school, nor does it apply to online services that the District uses to which students and/or their parents do not have access (e.g., an online student information system, used exclusively by teachers and staff for administrative purposes).

7. Learner Agency refers to ownership of learning processes and outcomes by students.

8. Technology refers to all District technology resources, including hardware, software, and services, whether on site or off site. Technology includes, but is not limited to, computer equipment and software, network equipment and software, services, including third party services, online educational services, operating systems, storage media, network accounts providing electronic mail, Internet browsing, and file transfers.

DESIRED OUTCOMES

1. Through the implementation of this policy, the Board of Trustees desires to:

a. establish and support learner-centered educational environments that lead to learner agency the development of 21st Century competencies;
b. align the acquisition and deployment of available technologies in the District’s schools to foster learner-centered technology use, in support of 21st Century competency development; and
c. protect students from potentially harmful online materials by ensuring compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES & ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS

1. This policy reflects the goals of the District’s Strategic Plan and aligns/complies with the governing documents of the District, to include:

a. Board Policy 9205, Safe and Respectful Learning Environment, and the associated administrative regulations
b. Board Policy 6160, Instructional Materials: Selection, Adoption, and Disposal, and the associated administrative regulations

2. This policy complies with Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and Nevada Administrative Code (NAC), to include:

a. Chapter 201, Crimes Against Public Decency and Good Morals, and specifically:
i. NRS 201.235-201.254, Obscenity.
b. Chapter 388, System of Public Instruction, and specifically:
i. NRS 388.134, Policy by school districts for provision of safe and respectful learning environment and policy for ethical, safe and secure use of computers; provision of training to board of trustees and school personnel; posting of policies on Internet website; annual review and update of policies  
c. Chapter 389, Examinations, Courses, Standards and Graduation, and specifically:
i. NRS 389.520, Council to Establish Academic Standards: Establishment of standards; periodic review of standards; adoption of standards by State Board; establishment of policy for ethical, safe and secure use of computers

3. This policy complies with federal laws and regulations, to include:

a. Children’s Internet Protection Act: 20 U.S.C. 6801 and 47 U.S.C. 254(h).
b. Broadband Data Improvement Act, Title II, Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act
c. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

REVIEW AND REPORTING

1. This document shall be reviewed as part of the bi-annual review and reporting process, following each regular session of the Nevada Legislature. The Board of Trustees shall receive notification of any required changes to the policy as well as an audit of the accompanying governing documents.

2. Administrative regulations, and/or other associated documents, will be developed as necessary for the consistent administration of this policy.

REVISION HISTORY
Revised January 16, 2018