Leadership Conference Focuses on Digital Learning

At the Common Ground 2015 conference in Ocean City, Maryland, the topic is 21st century teaching and learning, and programs and processes that increase the quality of schools. Common Ground is an annual conference for Maryland educators.

Tomorrow’s keynote address by Jay McTighe will be on creating an understanding-based curriculum for 21st century learning. McTighe served as director of the Maryland Assessment Consortium, a state collaboration of school districts working together to develop and share formative performance assessments. Prior to this position, McTighe was involved with school improvement projects at the Maryland State Department of Education where he helped lead Maryland’s standards-based reforms, including the development of performance-based statewide assessments.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) are the newest statewide assessments for reading and math in K-12 education. The 2014 Maryland General Assembly enacted Chapter 246 establishing a workgroup to assess certain needs, design certain plans, and make certain recommendations regarding the implementation of the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards and the PARCC assessments. The Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards (MCCRS) and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Implementation Review Workgroup released their final report in March 2015.

Read the PARCC Workgroup’s final report here.

For more information about PARCC, access the Maryland State Department of Education’s website here.

For more information, access the conference website here.

Digital learning is of ten a topic in the General Assembly, where some advocates think that it could increase learning opportunities for students, better prepare them for the 21st century work place and reduce pressure on school construction budgets. In the 2015 Session, Senator Ferguson introduced a bill to encourage public and private resources for developing Next Generation Schools.

Next Generation schools would stress complex problem solving, critical thinking, and collaborative teaching and learning. These schools would be characterized by a mix of traditional classrooms and online learning as well as other learning experiences outside of the classroom, including apprenticeships. The bill did not pass the General Assembly this year, but is likely to be a topic for discussion in the legislature again next year.

Read more about Next Generation Schools here.