District launching Digital Learning Certificates for teachers

Above: A new teacher contract clause will focus on professional development to incorporate “Digital Learning”. (photos from Neary website)

Northborough and Southborough public schools are continuing to efforts to teach their teachers how to incorporate technology in classrooms.

Last week, members of Committee Northborough, Southborough and Regional school committees learned about “Digital Learning Certificates” being offered to teachers. Superintendent Christine Johnson said the program “will hopefully move our district forward, and do so in a way that engages our teachers and our professional staff.”

Johnson told committees our district is the first one to have launched something like this. So, to start, it is only an internal recognition by the district. But they are in talks with Worcester State University about the possibility of turning it into a graduate credit. 

Completing the program should average about 35 hours per teacher. The professional development includes elements allowing teachers choices to personalize the training for their goals. It also encourages collaboration.

Johnson explained that it will be incorporated into teacher contracts, replacing the previously embedded “completion of a skillful teacher program”. She set the expectation that all teachers will eventually have gone through the process – but over a period of time (longer than the next two years).

The program came out of the district’s Technology Implementation plan. It was designed over the course of two years. The effort was managed by  a group of teachers representing all the schools as Digital Learning Leaders.

For an overview of the program, you can watch the presentation here.

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