New Jersey Department of Education

DOE A to Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Educational Technology

Technology Planning for Digital Learning



What is the district's vision for digital learning over the next three years?

Indicate the last date the NJTRAx Technology Readiness system was updated for the district: 

If applicable, indicate the date the Future Ready District Level summary report was generated (include a copy of the district report with the Plan submission):


If applicable, include a copy of the Digital Learning Survey summary report with the Plan submission for each identified school.

Name the identified school(s) that will be the focus for digital learning transformation over the next three years and the corresponding date(s) NJTRAx Technology Readiness system was updated for each school.

What are the current effective learning models in the school?  Please provide the total number of classrooms, and learning models used (see definitions – for example: blended, 1 to 1, personal learning environments (PLEs), Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and the flipped classroom. A sample list of learning models used in a digital learning environment is found in Appendix H.  

NOTE:  There are many models to guide an LEA in developing professional learning plans for teachers.  The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPAK or TPCK) framework focuses on the equal intersection of pedagogy, technology and content knowledge for teachers to increase effective integration of technology.  The Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) model continues the approach by allowing teachers to gauge their progress in how technology is utilized in instruction.  Universal Design for Learning (UDL) provides the "how" to engage all students that looks at ways technology is used in learning.  NJTRAx Digital Learning surveys provide a quantifiable gauge for a school as a whole, but not an individual teacher.  Teachers can gauge their own progress as they continuously improve their digital learning implementation skills. Then there is the Daggett Model for Effective Instruction.  It "leverages more than the teacher in the classroom. It emphasizes vertical alignment—with organizational systems and structures and with instructional leadership—and horizontal alignment—with teaching colleagues and classroom resources—as keys to student success."20

Please complete all five sections A through E for each identified school.

A. Goals/objectives/strategies  - considerations when developing the goals,  objectives and strategies

The plan must have clear goals.  Begin the planning with a picture of the desired outcome.  "The most effective way to design learning programs, lessons and schools is to plan with the end in mind."21   Define what students should understand and be able to accomplish as a result of their school experience.22 What should student work and performance look like?  The next step is planning specific learning experiences for students (see Implementation sub-topic in the C. Action Plan section below).  The statements below should help the school staff begin to reimagine or continue the work of transforming the school's physical, virtual and blended spaces to an effective digital learning environment for all students.23 Much of the information noted below is shared from the "Top 10 UDL Tips for Assessment" by the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST).

  1. The identified digital learning needs connection to the district's vision and goals.
  2. The goals should include the academic outcomes expected over three years for teachers and students.
  3. The timeframe should reflect that the goals are measureable and manageable for the three-year time period.
  4. Instructional materials, infrastructure, bandwidth, devices, assessments, and methods are in place to support the standards being achieved in all learning environments through effective instructional strategies.

B. Indicators to evaluate the Completion and Success of Goal(s) and Objective(s) -considerations when developing the indicators  

An Indicator is observed or calculated to show presence or state of condition.  The indicators and accountability measures for this plan are used to determine the extent to which the goal(s) and objectives are met.   The evaluation process enables the district to monitor progress toward the specified goals and to make mid-course corrections in response to new developments and opportunities as they arise.

  1. At the District level, indicators may include network uptime, help desk response times, electronic resource availability, successful deployment of new hardware and/or software systems, reduction in total cost of ownership, student to device ratios, classroom to device ratios, increased access to infrastructure, bandwidth, devices, etc.
  2. At the school level, indicators may include teacher lesson plans with evidence of technology integration into instruction, student work demonstrating 21st Century skills, workshop and/or conference attendance data, etc. 
  3. The actions taken, if expected results are not met, feeds into the Action Plan below.

C. Action Plan – considerations when developing the Action Plan

  1. The description of the activities is linked to goal(s), objective(s) and strategies.
  2. The person(s) responsible for ensuring this activity will be completed (and may include the title of others who are crucial for completion i.e., a signature needed).
  3. Time frame for activity to be started and completed (indicate "ongoing" if applicable).
  4. Resources needed are tangible, evaluative deliverables that will prove the activity was accomplished.

D. Reflect and Adjust –considerations when reflecting on progress of the implementation  

  1. Identify barriers to attaining the goals and objectives related to assessments, materials or methods.
  2. Students could be offered opportunities to reflect on the progress of the plan implementation as it impacts their learning experiences and goals.
  3. The plan should build educator capacity to implement the necessary learning pedagogy and practices for student college and career readiness.
  4. A systemic process should be identified when changes are made to the goals, objectives and strategies to improve outcomes. 

E. Budget - considerations when developing the budget  

  1. The funding sources should be identified for recurring services, anticipated purchases, and professional learning (include the technology resources to support the district's technology initiatives) over the next three years.
  2. An evaluation process should be embedded in the action plan to determine if purchased items are used appropriately.
  3. The district and/or school may explore innovative ways to fund digital learning expansion to all schools.


Goal:  Teachers of grades 4 through 7 in Main Street School will develop and implement a replicable, student-centered, digital learning environment across all NJ Core Curriculum Content areas by June 2019.


  • An informed leadership team supports risk-taking by teachers to use technology innovatively for teaching and learning.
  • Develop adjacent grade teacher teams to collaboratively work together.
  • Provide ready access to sufficient human capital, technical and physical resources.
  • Provide sufficient technical and infrastructure support.
  • Provide high-quality, ongoing, professional learning targeted to technology-infused content for all staff members.
  • Provide on-going, curriculum and instructional technology on-site support to teachers.

Objective:  Grade 4 through 7 teachers increase the number of instructional lessons that demonstrate proficient infusion of technological thinking and digital resources throughout the school year.

Objective:  The capacity, infrastructure, staffing, and equipment are available to meet the teachers' and students' academic needs for effective and efficient operations as evidenced by pre and post surveys.

Objective:  Resources are available for all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, geographical location, or disability, so they can become technologically prepared by the end of eighth grade where the identified grade levels 4 through 7 are expected to reach moderate level (as evidenced by Standard 8.0 evaluation tool) benchmarks by the end of each grade year.

Objective:  A sustainability plan is designed year one and implemented year two for current and future financing requirements to support the LEA's Technology Plan for Digital Learning.

(This list is not exhaustive; more objectives may be added.)


NJ Department of Education Technology Standards:

Federal Law
Every Student Succeeds Act:


Future Ready Tools

A planning resource document is from the Northeastern Regional Information Center (NERIC) –  The document includes guidance for New York schools about meeting the Smart Schools Bond Act, which although does not pertain to NJ is helpful guidance on planning for Instructional Digital Learning and coincides with that of the Office of Educational Technology.  We have pulled key components of their interactive document as guidance for NJ schools.

CITEd supports leadership at state and local education agencies to integrate instructional technology for all students to achieve high educational standards. CITEd provides this support through identification of promising practices, innovative online technical assistance tools, Professional Learning, and communities of practice. Read more about CITEd's approach. CITEd -

State Education Technology Director's Association (SETDA) - The Guide to Implementing Digital Learning (GIDL) is a free web-based resource to support school and district leaders as they work to ensure that investments in digital learning spark positive results. GIDL includes six topic areas: planning, professional learning, content and software, broadband, devices and tech support. Each topic's section includes background information, key considerations for implementation, resources and exemplars of digital learning in action.   See The Guide to Implementing Digital Learning – Overview (printable document), and also!/overview.

Essential Conditions for technology integration -The International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) Essential Conditions are the 14 critical elements necessary to effectively leverage technology for learning. They offer educators and school leaders a research-backed framework to guide implementation of the ISTE Standards, tech planning and system wide change.

The SouthEast Initiatives Regional Technology in Education Consortium (SEIR*TEC) is a group of national, regional, and university-based organizations dedicated to promoting the use of technology to improve teaching and learning by providing technical assistance, authentic professional development in the areas of curriculum and instruction, leadership for technology, policy, and planning and evaluation.  See Technology Planning:

Sample Vision and/or Mission Statements

Budgeting for Digital Learning


Individualized Learning Including "The Padagogy Wheel"

The SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, And Redefinition) Model Examples:


Personal Learning:


Steve Wick, Technology Coordinator, School Level, Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, IL says,
"Praise alone is rarely effective feedback … to best help students teachers need to go beyond praise and connect the feedback directly to the learning goals whenever possible. Here are a couple of resources about effective feedback that goes beyond basic praise:



A meta-study from ARCC in the United States reveals that technology, when appropriately used can make a significant difference in learning outcomes in all subjects. The evidence from the various studies has a recurring theme that technology can improve student achievement if they are integrated appropriately into teaching and learning. When what technology can do best - offering online access, interactive capabilities and a vast range of options on content - is made available and meaningfully integrated into teaching, the results are undeniable.

A July 2015 annotated bibliography from the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes provides resources and information about using technology in early education classrooms. It includes considerations when introducing new tools, media, and devices, so educators and policymakers can make informed decisions about preparing teachers and care providers to use the technology.

research study at Durham University in the North East of England suggests that multi-touch, multi-user surfaces can improve the learning of mathematics. 400 children were involved in the study, which demonstrated that 'smart tables' enabled better collaboration and problem solving during math lessons. Class teachers receive a live feed of output from the children's interactions on the surface, and can intervene when necessary. Research has shown that the touch surfaces enable children to discover a range of alternative solutions to math problems, simply through interacting with each other in new ways.

Research has unveiled instructional practices that are designed to help students with disabilities learn academic content in social studies and other secondary level subject areas.  (Jobs for the Future: Deeper Learning Research Series by Sharon Vaughn, Louis Danielson, Rebecca Zumeta and Lynn Holdheide, August 2015).    Strategies include: a) students creating a "comprehension canopy (identify the field's big ideas and key concepts and over time, explicitly connecting them to specific examples and cases, b) defining essential words mean to assist students in learning and using the academic vocabulary of the discipline, and c) team-based learning in which students work independently at first, to demonstrate comprehension, and then with team members to build, correct, and extend learning about content-area issues."  It is also strongly shown that students with disabilities needs teachers that provide supports that are "deliberate, explicit and systematic.  Students have been found to outpace their peers studying the same content.

The National Research Council (NRC) defines deeper learning as "the process through which an individual becomes capable of taking what was learned in one situation and applying it to new situations (i.e., transfer [of information])" (NRC 2012, p. 4)  For example, a set of instructional practices that are specifically designed to help students with disabilities learn content in social studies and other secondary level subject areas is detailed in the publication "Deeper Learning for Students with Disabilities" (Vaughn, Sharon, Louis Danielson, Rebecca Zumeta, & Lynn Holdheide. 2015. Deeper Learning for Students with Disabilities. Students at the Center: Deeper Learning Research Series. Boston, MA: Jobs for the Future.)

Deeper Learning occurs through authentic relationships between teacher and student.  Effective teaching and learning takes into account access for all students is a given and teachers and students work together to discover, create and master content.

Figure from p. 3 of Fullan, M. & Langworthy, M. (2014) A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning, London: Pearson.
Figure from p. 3 of Fullan, M. & Langworthy, M. (2014) A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning, London: Pearson.