Wyoming Digital Learning Plan December 2019 Newsletter

Update from the Wyoming Department of Education  |  view online |  website


December 2019

Welcome to the Digital Learning Plan (DLP) monthly newsletter

This newsletter will explore the Wyoming Department of Education’s (WDE) DLP, its goals, and suggested strategies to ensure equitable access to opportunities and success in postsecondary, career, and civic life.

The Five-Step Planning Process

Catch up on Steps 1 to 3 in previous newsletters here

The Five-Step Planning Process is designed to help educators with creating sound, research-based action plans to implement personalized, student-centered learning. Embarking on this work takes leadership, time, patience, courage, collaboration, trust, and some trial and error to get it right. With that in mind, this planning tool guides district teams through collecting and analyzing data on their readiness across each gear in the Future Ready Framework, identifying specific strategies and next steps for implementation, and producing a comprehensive action plan for implementing their specific initiative.

Congratulations on completing the third step of gathering input from stakeholders. The data collected in previous steps can now be used to create a customized, research-based Future Ready Action Plan. 

Step 4


Create a Future Ready Action Plan

Task 1:Set a Timeline and Assign Gear Level Leaders

Future Ready Leadership Teams should collaborate to identify a: 

  1. Timeline for completing the Future Ready Action Plan.
  2. A gear leader for each gear in the Future Ready Framework that the district is going to prioritize in their action plan.

A comprehensive action plan requires a series of weekly meetings to plan each gear, identify goals, and select strategies for implementation. 

Select gear leaders who will have a strong understanding of the content for each Future Ready gear and is willing to write the vision and goals for their gear. 

Action plans can have a more direct focus (e.g., tackling only one or two gears), or have an intensive work plan for each of the Future Ready gears. Use the dashboard to create an action plan that fits specific district needs and priorities. Here's a Sample FRS Action Plan.

Task 2: Write the Introduction and Use Evidence to Set Goals

The system automatically creates an action plan template associated with the District Leadership Self-Assessment that was completed in Step 2. 

Click “Action Planning” in the menu, select the team’s plan, and follow the prompts to complete the introduction section. As a team, create and critique the language used to complete each component of the introduction (e.g., statement of leadership, background, and theory of change). 

screenshot of Side menu of FR dashboard

The dashboard pulls in all the data collected in the previous steps and conducts a gap analysis to recommend next steps for implementation. Select the gears that the district will prioritize in the plan. Each gear leader will analyze the district’s readiness level for the gear elements and create a draft vision statement and goals to be reviewed by the Future Ready Leadership team in the next meeting.

Pro Tip 1: Use team building activities on vision setting and strategic planning to identify the appropriate language for completing the introduction setting of the action plan. 

Pro Tip 2: Each gear should include at least three goals to support the vision, but could include an unlimited number depending on the scope of each goal and the district’s approach to the Future Ready Action Plan. 

Pro Tip 3: Stagger meeting times and benchmarks for completion of each gear section. The time between meetings gives the leadership team the chance to review each FRS gear in the action plan and be prepared with suggestions for improvement. Districts should plan to review one to two gear sections in each meeting to avoid “information paralysis.”

Task 3: Select Strategies to Support each Goal

This task can be completed as a group activity, or by individual gear leaders and then discussed as a team. Use this opportunity to collaborate as a team, set goals, and select from hundreds of practitioner created strategies. 

Pro Tip 1: Goals can correspond to an unlimited number of strategies; however, teams should be careful not to set unrealistic expectations for implementation. Balance the relationship between a number of strategies and timeline associated with each goal to ensure the plan is practical.

A document with checkboxes

Task 4: Evaluation and Communication

Continuous improvement and evaluation are essential parts of successful implementation. In the final section of the action plan, the leadership team should discuss plans for assessing the fidelity of implementation, measuring outcomes of the change effort, and monitoring progress. It is also important to outline outreach strategies for keeping stakeholders engaged and to assign the role of accountability to different members of the team. 

Pro Tip 1: Consider using existing processes within the district for measuring change. For example, teacher and staff surveys, parent meetings, etc. are often ways to gather feedback. If the expectation is that the change effort will impact student outcomes, list formative or summative assessments being used in the district as tools for evaluation.

Professional Development Opportunities

Wyoming Digital Learning Guidelines

In November, the WDE released the Wyoming Digital Learning Guidelines, based on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Students to support education technology use in PK-12 classrooms. The Guidelines are one of the recommendations in the DLP (page 13) under the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment gear. To support educators in implementing the Guidelines, the WDE is offering a free, online course that includes:

  • Self-paced, interactive modules in the WDE Canvas learning management system which takes about eight hours to complete.
  • One-half (.5) Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB) credit available upon completion.
  • Open enrollment, so educators can join and complete the course at their convenience.

Visit the Wyoming Digital Learning Guidelines web page for more information and the online registration form.

For more information, contact Lori Thilmany at 307-777-7418 or lori.thilmany@wyo.gov.


Stay Tuned

Next month’s Digital Learning Plan Newsletter will focus on the final step of the Future Ready Action Planning, Step 5 - Address, Assign, Export, and Share.

For more information on the DLP, or the Future Ready Framework, contact Alisa Cook at 307-777-3679 or alisa.cook1@wyo.gov.