SETDA is leading organization in advocating for the shift from print to digital instructional materials. Please visit SETDA’s Digital Content Priorities page to learn more about SETDA’s efforts in this important, ever-changing area. Additionally, you can find an extensive list of resources where you can search by topic area on SETDA’s Resources page.
This page presents select resources that states may consider when embarking on the acquisition and implementation of digital instructional materials to support teaching and learning.
Choosing Quality Classroom Materials for K-12 AAP and SIIA produced this document to help states, districts and individual schools ensure that teachers and students have access to a wide range of high-quality instructional materials.
Creating a Coherent System to Support Instruction Aligned with State Standards This report presents findings on when state departments of education work to align instruction with standards, it may make a difference for teachers’ practices and understanding about their state standards.
EngageNY NYSED developed and maintains EngageNY, a website with instructional materials and resources to support educators with professional learning tools and resources.
Family Support Toolkit Library – Louisiana Resources for parents to understand the LEAP assessment results and report cards and how those results will be used to make adjustments to instruction to meet individual student needs this school year. The list of questions is not exhaustive, but reflects evidence-based answers to questions that parents have frequently asked about the statewide assessment results.
The Guide to Implementing Digital Learning – Overview (printable document)
ISTE Essential Conditions The International Society for Technology in Education provides 14 Essential Elements necessary to effectively leverage technology for learning.
K12 Educational Technology Landscape. Budgets, Purchasing, and Classroom Technology
Learning in a One-to-One Laptop Environment A new report by Dr. Binbin Zheng at Michigan State University reviews 65 journal articles and 31 doctoral dissertations published from January 2001 to May 2015 to examine the effect of one-to-one laptop programs on teaching and learning in K–12 schools. A meta-analysis of 10 studies examines the impact of laptop programs on students’ academic achievement, finding significantly positive average effect sizes in English, writing, mathematics, and science.
Louisiana Supports Teachers with Aligned Instructional Materials
Policy, Pilots and the Path to Competency-Based Education: A National Landscape A Survey of Current State Law and Policy on Competency-Based Education in K-12 Systems.
Quality Content for Learning Resources AAP provides a checklist and quality assurance process for the selection of instructional materials.
Rethinking State and School District Policies Concerning Mobile Technologies and Social Media This document was developed to help inform policymakers and educators as they develop or reconsider policies addressing new digital media in the context of improved learning.
Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Smarter Balanced provides resources to support student learning and offers interim tests and summative tests to measure student achievement and growth in English and math in grades 3–8 and high school.
State Wi-Fi Leadership for Fostering Digital Learning Ready K-12 Schools. This publication explores the steps states are taking to address the wireless equity gaps that exist among their schools. Leaders from Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah outline the planning, policy, funding, and management approaches their state agencies or education technology leaders are adopting regarding Wi-Fi, and they share their recommendations for promoting and/or creating equitable access opportunities to high-quality Wi-Fi connectivity.
Transformative Digital Learning is a free web-based resource designed to support school and district leaders as they work to ensure that investments in digital learning spark positive results. Updated as of April of 2018, the guide now includes a set of professional learning resources, known as facilitator guides, for states and districts to use to host statewide and/or regional convenings to provide customized support and training. This project also includes a set of stakeholder communication toolkits designed to help stakeholders disseminate information about teaching and learning in the digital age. Topics include: Planning, Professional learning, Operations,Instructional Materials, Equity & Access.
U.S. Department of Education Privacy Technical Assistance Center This “one-stop” resource for education stakeholders provides information about data privacy, confidentiality and security practices related to student data.
When Vision Isn’t Enough. Eric Sheninger (2015). This blog provides views on educational leadership, effective technology integration, best practices, and creating a student-centered learning culture.
Digital Instructional Materials
Achieve Rubric Achieve, in collaboration with leaders from the OER community, developed eight rubrics to evaluate the quality of instructional resources.
CCSSO Criteria for Procuring and Evaluating High Quality Assessments The CCSSO Criteria for Procuring and Evaluating High-Quality Assessments provides criteria for states to consider as they purchase, develop, and evaluate high-quality state summative assessments aligned to college- and career-readiness standards.
CCSSO OER Resources for States, Districts, and Educators This page links to many resources from CCSSO including an introduction to OER, resources for educators, and several case studies around the use of OER.
CK-12 Foundation The CK-12 Foundation was created to produce free and open source K-12 materials aligned to state standards. All textbooks—called “flexbooks”— available through CK-12 are free, available online, and customizable.
Creating Accessible OERs As more and more postsecondary institutions incorporate OERs into courses and programs, identifying and following some key guiding principles can help assure—to the greatest extent possible—that a degree of due diligence regarding accessibility is routinely addressed. One way of approaching this process is to identify a list of best practice performance measures that can be used by those creating and by those reviewing OERs. Although originally designed for higher education, the best practices and resources provided on this page apply to K-12 as well.
Creative Commons The nonprofit organization Creative Commons (CC) addresses the legal issues of making content on the internet open so that people can use it as they wish for education, research and other purposes. The organization offers a spectrum of six intellectual property licenses that can be applied to content available on the internet by the person who created it. These licenses range from the most restrictive—people can download a creator’s work and share it with others, but they can’t change it in any way or use it commercially—to the least restrictive: Others can distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the work, even commercially, as long as they credit the creator. The latter is called an Attribution or CC BY license. CC’s intellectual property licenses are valid in the US and five other jurisdictions where they’ve been tested in courtrooms.
EdReports Reviews EdReports is an independent nonprofit that publishes free reviews of instructional materials, using an educator-designed tool that measures alignment, usability, and other quality criteria.
EngageNY Math Module EngageNY math module for grade 3 and covers properties of multiplication and division and solving problems.
Ensuring the Quality of Digital Content for Learning. SETDA 2015. This policy brief examines strategies for ensuring digital content quality, including exploration of the specific quality-control challenges and opportunities associated with open educational resources. The paper describes: digital content’s unique characteristics; traditional instructional materials quality review practices; and recommendations for ensuring digital content quality.
Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177) U.S. Senate, Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177).
Free Textbook Project This is a powerpoint presentation about OER in Utah by Tracy Poulsen from Spanish Fork High School.
From Print to Digital: Guide to Quality Instructional Materials. This toolkit helps state leaders establish state level review processes and to provide guidance to their districts on the selection of quality instructional materials that are aligned to standards, address educational goals and are accessible for all students.
#GoOpen District Launch Packet The #GoOpen District Launch Packet is for districts that are including openly licensed educational resources into their curriculum.
Hampton Township iPad Application Evaluation Rubric PDF
The Hidden Value of Curriculum Reform: Do States and Districts Receive the Most Bang for Their Curriculum Buck? PDF
Implementation of K–12 State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts and Literacy Findings from the American Teacher Panel
iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses (v2) These standards are guidelines for districts and organizations implementing blended or online learning, to ensure a high-quality education for all students. The standards should be modified to meet local needs, and used as a tool to understand and make informed decisions about blended and online learning programs.
Instructional Materials Evaluation Tool (IMET) IMET is a tool for evaluating textbooks for alignment to the shifts and major features of the Common Core State Standards. It is used with ELA/literacy materials for grades K-2 or 3-12 and for mathematics materials K-8 or high school.
K-12 OER Collaborative. The K-12 Collaborative creates high-quality, comprehensive OER resources to support K-12 mathematics and English language arts. The K-12 Collaborative includes 12 states and several supporting organizations, including SETDA.
K-12 OER Community of Practice
Learning in One-to-One Laptop Environments A new report by Dr. Binbin Zheng at Michigan State University reviews 65 journal articles and 31 doctoral dissertations published from January 2001 to May 2015 to examine the effect of one-to-one laptop programs on teaching and learning in K–12 schools. A meta-analysis of 10 studies examines the impact of laptop programs on students’ academic achievement, finding significantly positive average effect sizes in English, writing, mathematics, and science.
Learning Registry The learning registry shares data about learning resources available online.
Lesson-Sharing Sites Raise Issues of Ownership, Use This article discusses lesson-sharing sites, key sources for common-core related PD, and the issues with ownership. “Say you’re a teacher and you’ve created a bang-up lesson on how to teach fractions on the number line. Everyone in the faculty room loves it. Fellow teachers are begging for copies. Your principal suggests you post it online for others to use…”
Letter to President Obama Calling for OER Policy Commitment In August 2015, a broad coalition of more than 90 organizations representing the education, library, technology, public interest and legal communities released a letter calling on President Obama to open up educational materials created with federal taxpayer funds.
Listening to and Learning from Teachers: A Summary of Focus Groups on the Common Core and Assessments PDF
Louisiana Instructional Materials Review Resources Louisiana provides a list of resources for the instructional materials review process, including rubrics by content area.
Massachusetts: Lawrence Public Schools Course Master Rubric PDF
Materials Alignment Toolkit Achieve, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Council of Great City Schools (CGCS), and Student Achievement Partners have developed this Materials Alignment Toolkit for evaluating the alignment of instructional and assessment materials to the Common Core State Standards.
MN Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum The Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum is a grassroots initiative to promote the creation of open digital curriculum. Our goal is to leverage the power of collaboration and digital resources to launch teachers and students into new learning frontiers.
Navigating the Digital Shift: Mapping the Acquisition of Digital Instructional Materials. This research paper provides an analysis of state policy trends related to digital instructional materials, essential conditions for implementation, an update on the states’ progress towards SETDA’s Out of Print recommendations and highlights several next steps for consideration as leaders move to advance the learning experiences in the digital age.
Navigating the Digital Shift 2018: Broadening Student Learning Opportunities: This publication highlights how state policies and guidance are supporting the transfor- mation to digital learning, speci cally the policies and processes around the selection, curation, procurement and funding of digital instructional materials. Evidence of state leadership in these areas—equity of access; accessibility for all students; interoperability; and student data and privacy—is highlighted throughout this publication.
NC – Recommendations for Revising the Textbook Adoption Process North Carolina offers recommendations for modernizing the state’s textbook adoption process. These recommendations are aligned with the state Digital Learning Plan.
OER and Collaborative Content Development This report provides educational leaders with a guide describing the benefits of OER, a framework for planning, and strategies for successful collaborative content development
OER Commons OER Commons is a digital library and network. Users can access open education resources and join the network of educators dedicated to curriculum improvement.
OER Rubrics Developed by the non-profit organization Achieve, these rubrics were created to evaluate open educational resources, but they can be applicable to any content.
openstax Peer-reviewed. Openly licensed. 100% free.
Open Content – A Practical Guide to Using Creative Commons Licenses This is a practical guide to using Creative Commons Licences.
Open Educational Resources: Designing for All Learners This document has been designed to provide an overview of open educational resources (OERs) for elementary and secondary education personnel involved in the selection, acquisition, and/or use of instructional materials—general and special education teachers, administrators, assistive technology (AT) specialists, technology and curriculum coordinators, and creators of curriculum resources.
Open Educational Resources (OER) Stories, Policies, and Resources The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) presents the second phase of a 2014 initiative designed to explore the state of development and dissemination of OER. In 2015, CCSSO released an update to last year’s OER report, expanding the research to include districts and educators working closely with OER.
Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN) Open Professionals Education Network (OPEN) provides links to OER as well as guidance on how to handle licensing requirements for education-oriented digital materials.
Open-Up Resources Our products are openly licensed (CC BY), closely aligned to standards, and accessible to all students, regardless of first language or special needs.
Out of Print: Reimagining the K-12 Textbook in a Digital Age. SETDA 2013. This paper makes the case for how digital content can positively affect student learning and engagement, make accommodations for special learning needs, provide unbundled search and discovery, and provide support for personalized learning. It also provides profiles of four states – Indiana, Texas, Utah, and Virginia – and summarizes actions of policymakers from nearly half the states to encourage digital content.
PhET Interactive Simulations Interactive simulations in earth science.
Report: “Choosing Blindly: Instructional Materials, Teacher Effectiveness, and the Common Core”
Report: “Don’t Forget Curriculum” Brown Center Letters on Education, Brookings Institute
Resources for Using OER These resources can be used by school districts and teachers interested in implementing OER and communicating with stakeholders in their educational communities. Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Rubrics: Align to the Common Core State Standards Tools for evaluating the alignment of instructional and assessment materials to the Common Core State Standards.
Selecting Digital Education Content North Carolina provides educators with background information and recommendations to inform their selection of digital content.
SPARC SPARC is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication.
Spokane Public Schools Approved Materials Spokane Public School’s list of approved middle school textbook/materials.
Standards for Professional Learning Resources Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness for all students requires prioritizing, monitoring, and coordinating resources for educator learning. The Learning Forward Standards are general standards for professional learning across K12 that highlight the importance of sustainable, ongoing, job-embedded professional learning opportunities
State Digital Learning Exemplars. June 2015. Published jointly by SETDA and the Friday Institute, this national report highlights examples of states with policies in support of five key areas: innovating funding streams and policy; digital content; human capacity; network infrastructure; and data management and privacy. The report is a valuable resource for states looking for policies to replicate.
Student Success Act H.R. 5 114th Congress, Student Success Act
Teaching Higher: Educators’ Perspectives on Common Core Implementation Center for Education Policy Research
Top 5 Tips for Building and Training Your Review Team
Understanding Open Educational Resources: Next Steps for Research. Proceedings of a meeting convened on June 16-17, 2016, by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Education (ED), and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to consider research issues and questions regarding the creation, use, and sustainability of open educational resources.
Utah Open Textbook Project The Utah Open Textbook project is examining the deeper learning and cost savings that can be achieved when open textbooks replace traditional, expensive textbooks in public high school science classrooms.
Utah’s Recommended Instructional Material Searchable Database Utah provides a recommended, searchable database for instructional materials.
Washington State: Curricular Implementation Rubric for Lessons, Units, & Curricula PDF
Washington State Digital Library Find reviews of the library of OER resources compiled in Washington state
Washington State: Technology Rubric for Lessons & Units & Curriculum PDF
Washington State: Quality Review Rubric for Social Studies Lessons and Units PDF
Why Open Resources Matter Results from a U.S. Department of Education short video contest explaining the benefits of Open Educational Resources for teachers, students and schools everywhere.
AEM Best Practices National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) issues best practices for publishers and software developers.
Bookshare: A Benetech Initiative Bookshare® is the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities. Bookshare serves users around the world and ensures that content is available to people with print disabilities at the same time as their peers.
Build Accessible Coursework Learn how to improve the accessibility of the content you create for your students.
Buy Accessible: What to look for in ebooks Are you buying ebooks that all students can read? Not all ebooks are accessible to students with print disabilities and knowing what to look for can help your textbook procurement staff make the best decisions for all students.
National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) AEM are print- and technology-based educational materials, including printed and electronic textbooks and related core materials that are designed or converted in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of student variability regardless of format (print, digital, graphic, audio, video).When students have difficulty perceiving or using standard educational materials due to a disability, they may need accessible educational materials.
The Foundation of Online Learning for Students with Disabilities. The Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities July 2012.This publication examines the challenges of accommodations compliance with Federal law, statutory mandates for accessibility; Section 508 standards; and an industry-sanctioned sample voluntary product accessibility template.
The Palm Initiative The AEM Center at CAST has launched the PALM Initiative (Purchase Accessible Learning Materials) to ensure that materials used in the classroom are designed to be useable by all students. This requires adjustments in the way materials are purchased, and that, in turn, will drive the availability of more flexible and accessible learning materials in the marketplace.
Your Guide to Building a More Accessible Classroom Learn how to build a more accessible classroom with a few simple best practices.
How can we help companies investing in this industry by streamlining procurement policies and helping them raise more capital? LEAD Commission 2015. The LEAD Commission provides an overview of some of the issues companies face when selling their products and services to states and school districts. The article also highlights current efforts in the field.
Improving Ed-Tech Purchasing, Digital Promise and Education Industry Association. The report identifies the key obstacles and potential solutions for the procurement of K12 digital instructional tools.
K12 Purchasing Renaissance Webinar Recording. Learn the current state of procurement, the ways an efficient connecting of buyers and sellers can be a game-changer in education, and what they can do now to take action.
State K12 Procurement Case Studies: Spotlight on Digital Materials Acquisition. This publication highlights state level procurement case studies that share how states have effectively established and implemented policies for the procurement of high quality instructional materials and devices. These in-depth studies of California, Indiana, Louisiana and Utah provide road maps for other states that are moving forward to implement digital learning materials policies and procedures.
Broadband, Devices, and Interoperability
State K-12 Broadband Leadership: Driving Connectivity and Access. This report highlights the powerful impact of state leadership in driving critical policy decisions at the national and state level to support broadband networks, bandwidth capacity and home access for low-income families. Educators, policy makers and the private sector will benefit from organized and accessible information regarding states’ broadband and wi-fi implementation for all 50 states, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands.
The Broadband Imperative II: Equitable Access for Learning. SETDA continues to advocate for increasing robust access both in and out of school to best prepare all students for college and careers. This 2016 report expands on earlier recommendations
The Broadband Imperative. SETDA 2012. SETDA has long recognized the importance of broadband in K-12 education. Given that bandwidth capacity determines which online content, educational applications, and digital learning service students and educators can use effectively in the classroom, it is in the national interest to ensure a baseline broadband capacity in and throughout all schools.
Connecting to Learn: Promoting Digital Equity for America’s Hispanic Families
CoSN Interoperability Standards. As the use of digital instructional tools increases, there are still gaps in the integration and interfaces among applications.
E-rate Modernization Resources. In 2015, SETDA and Common Sense Kids Action developed several resources to support state and local policymakers and digital leaders as they navigate the modernized E-rate program. The goal is to help state and local leaders achieve high-speed connectivity in their jurisdictions and to support the national goal of connecting every classroom and library in America to high-speed Internet by 2018.
E-rate Modernization: New Funding Options for Internal Connections (Wi-Fi). The FCC’s effort to connect all schools and libraries to high-speed broadband would be ineffective without addressing needed Internet improvements inside the schools and libraries themselves. Schools and libraries without local area networks capable of distributing the bandwidth being delivered to them are inefficient in both use of services and E-rate funds. In an effort to ensure effective and efficient use of bandwidth delivery down to the classroom and student level, the FCC made additional funds available to provide discounts on local area network infrastructure and related services.
E-rate Modernization: Special Construction – State Matching Grant Program Guidance. As with all aspects of the E-rate program, the new E-rate options are subject to strict competitive bidding requirements. Applicants must conduct fair, open, and competitive bidding processes and must select the most cost-effective option in order to receive E-rate funds. The price of eligible products and services must be the most heavily-weighted factor, but not necessarily the majority factor, considered in choosing equipment and services to bring broadband to and establish internal connections in schools and libraries.
State Education Leadership Interoperability: Leveraging Data for Academic Excellence. Published in May 2018, this resource highlights how state leaders tackle data interoperability with the emergence of data standards for student information, as- sessment, digital content, and other educational applications. State and private sector leaders identify recommendations and the next steps necessary to continue the con- versations within states, among states, and with the private sector to develop cohesive data interoperability practices to achieve student learning goals.
SETDA Priorities. SETDA discusses interoperability issues in digital learning, specifically how applications and potentially valuable data, the systems we use to collect, manage, analyze, and report on that data are often disconnected and don’t work well together.
Budget and Funding
DQC Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality. (DQC 2015). DQC presents the states’ role and responsibility around data use in the privacy and confidentiality of students’ personally identifiable information.
Future Ready Self Assessment – Budget The Future Ready Self-Assessment for Budgeting provides district leaders with a resource to evaluate their own processes and metrics for budgeting in a digital learning environment.
Maximizing ESSA Formula Funds for Students: State Readiness Self-Assessment The self-assessment tool is designed to help states analyze their policies and practices in three areas: 1. State spending policies over federal funds, 2. Application, planning, and budgeting alignment to state priorities and local needs, and 3. Paperwork reduction opportunities.
Monticello (NY) Central School District Software Evaluation Form PDF
National Ed Tech Plan The National Education Technology Plan provides a vision of transformational learning experiences powered by technology.
North Carolina Digital Learning Plan – Funding and Policy North Carolina makes recommendations for funding and policy as the state shifts to digital learning.
TEC Data Platform TEC Data Platform is an online library of edtech market pricing data specifically developed for school districts. TEC worked with Lea(R)n, using LearnPlatform as the unified edtech management ecosystem that allows for the collection and analysis of district technology contracts. The platform allows member districts to access price reports on the products they are considering for first-time purchase or renewal.
Total Cost of Ownership Tool CoSN updated their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in 2016 to help school technology leaders understand the costs associated with the computing environment.
Total Cost of Ownership for Google Apps for Education This blog post considers the total cost of ownership of Google Apps for education to Windows software and includes some tips and lessons learned.
Transformative Budgeting for Digital Learning New Jersey presents strategies for transformative budgeting – a process by which innovations in schools are accomplished within existing budgets. The report includes models from several districts.
Vermont RFP for OER Platform Vermont issues and RFP for an OER platform.