Digital Ready is an intensive professional development program designed to help participating NYC public middle and high schools use technology and student-centered learning to improve their students’ readiness for college and careers. The program supports schools in design thinking, prototyping, and managing innovative shifts in practice. Schools identify needs, set goals, and, with our support, design and develop a plan that will focus on practice via four “levers of change”: curriculum, teaching, assessment, and expanded learning opportunities—learning outside the classroom, but connected to the classroom.
Digital Ready works with school teams to design a school-specific pathway that identifies a scope and sequence of activities to help the school meet their student-centered goals. Each of the participating schools has a team comprised of the school leadership and a team of teachers (approximately 5 or 6) who collaborate internally and with teams from other schools.
Each school team includes one or more leaders for each of the four Digital Ready lever of change: curriculum, teaching, assessment, expanded learning opportunities. Lever leaders “own” school-based innovations through their chosen levers. This entails prototyping (designing and piloting) shifts in practice, scaling successful innovations throughout the school, relaying results back to the school team and the DR team, and participating in progress at monthly lever group meetings run by the Digital Ready team.
Digital Ready hosts three quarterly meetings intended to build on a week of intensive summer PD to support sharing across schools and collaborative planning. We release a new request for applications in February and accept 10 new schools each school year, kicking off with the annual Digital Ready Summer Institute in July.
By 2015-16, Digital Ready will reach a total of 30 middle and high schools as we continue to develop a community of like-minded schools committed to using technology-powered, student-centered approaches to achieve innovations that enhance student engagement and success. We hope and intend that the work of our Digital Ready schools will be used to create a model for student-centered school change that can be adapted for different types of schools throughout New York City and beyond.
Digital Ready is a partnership between the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Post Secondary Readiness and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.