Focus Group Summaries

Focus Group Summaries


Each focus group’s summary and report may be found by clicking on the . A compilation of all focus group summaries and reports may be accessed by clicking on the button to the right.

  • Strong leaders begin with the end in mind and collaborate with diverse stakeholders to build a collective vision for the future that includes the transformation of teaching and learning through technology. Rather than focusing primarily on the “what,” leaders must begin with the “why.” Transformation begins with discussion about why a school or district needs to embark on a journey of continuous improvement; one that uses technology to personalize teaching, leading, and learning experiences.

  • Classrooms and school libraries are exploding with digital devices that enable students to experience learning opportunities once thought unimaginable. Learners can now explore resources and access expertise anywhere in the world. Equity is improved for all students by providing greater exposure to high-quality learning materials and personalized learning experiences that prepare students for college and career. Educators are rethinking how students access, create and share information to demonstrate the application of content knowledge through active technology use.  Deliberately-planned digital integration provides limitless possibilities for personalized student learning opportunities.

  • As college and career demands increase, so do the expectations placed on teachers to provide personalized and student-centered learning opportunities. When building a strong student-centered culture, with deliberately-planned digital integration, educators need administrator support, professional learning opportunities, resources, and a sustainable and robust infrastructure.  Leveraging digital resources to facilitate professional learning that is relevant, ongoing, and personalized, engages educators in a cycle of inquiry, reflection, and sharing. These experiences empower teachers to provide rigorous, innovative, and individualized experiences that maximize the potential of digital learning.

  • The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. Young people today interact with many kinds of content through a number of devices and technologies. Advances in technology have made it possible to build summative, formative, and diagnostic assessments with new question types (such as Technology Enhanced Items (TEIs) that require students to demonstrate their knowledge by completing rigorous tasks.  TEI items allow for the creation of assessment environments that resemble real-world scenarios in which students might interact with information using technology. This quality makes TEIs inherently more authentic and engaging for students. (Barton & Schultz, 2012) [1]

    Assessments of high integrity drive instruction and become an essential component of a teacher’s practice. It is imperative that assessments are accurate measures of student learning as parents, administrators, school boards, and public policy groups rely on assessment data to inform decisions.  An unbiased, valid and reliable online assessment system is one that is built on the principle of Universal Design for Learning and meets the needs of all students, including students with disabilities.

    1: Barton and Schultz citation:

  • Increasing demands by schools for the use of digital content in the teaching and learning process requires Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to dedicate themselves to provide a robust, flexible, and secure technology infrastructure. Maryland continues to excel in it’s support of digital teaching and learning by providing 24/7 access, connectivity, resources and services to create a collaborative, adaptive, secure and cost effective environment. Strategically planned digital ecosystems promote student-centric education to a world class education for all students.

    In order to provide a world class education for all students that is personalized and learner-centric, strategically planned digital ecosystems are essential.