About the Guide

To support schools in the effective implementation of technology to support learning, the California Digital Learning Integration and Standards Guidance provides strategies to build educator and system capacity. The guide is based on foundational, research-based digital learning practices, including engaging in personal interaction, building classroom communities, promoting collaboration, incorporating authentic assessment, designing active learning activities, and cultivating student-centered opportunities to build agency. 

The Guidance is organized into three sections, Sections A, B, and C. Throughout all sections, the Guidance supports the effective integration of digital learning in an in-person classroom setting and a virtual environment and incorporates interviews, vignettes, and spotlights featuring illustrative examples of classroom practice throughout the sections. The vignettes and interviews showcase California educators and provide examples of topic-specific, recommended strategies, and resources for educators as they teach within and design digital learning environments. Supplemental materials are also available via the Appendices, including a Glossary of Key Terms, references, a robust literature review, and a Digital Tools Matrix, which includes names of tools, descriptions of them, as well as use cases that illustrate how educators incorporate them within their learning environments. 

Section A delves into how technology can facilitate pedagogical practices that have the potential to lead to student growth as lifelong, empowered learners. Specifically, this section covers the importance of equitable access for students when learning moves to digital environments. Topics that revolve around infrastructure for digital learning, such as internet connectivity, digital devices, and content management, lay the foundation for understanding equitable access. Building on this foundation, the guide also provides practical strategies to meet the needs of students with disabilities, English learners, foster youth, and youth experiencing homelessness.

Once students have what they need to learn, it’s time to focus on what teachers need in order to teach in digital learning environments. This resource provides guidance informed by two sets of standards for digital teaching and learning, including the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) Standards for Educators as well as the National Standards for Quality Online Learning. Topics including professional responsibilities, teacher presence, digital citizenship, and data-informed instruction are shared and aligned with ideas that educators can use. Additionally, for those educators who are responsible for designing learning in digital learning, the resource provides examples of synchronous and asynchronous activities, developmental considerations, and accessibility requirements. Moreover, the resource dives deep into understanding how best to engage and motivate students in digital learning environments, including building relationships, providing support structures, infusing opportunities for creativity, encouraging authentic collaboration, and empowering learner agency. 

The guide also covers assessments by differentiating how assessments can be used for learning, as learning, and of learning, all of which provide students, educators, and families/caregivers information they need to best support student learning. The final topics covered in Section A center on well-being and social and emotional learning, emphasizing the need for students, educators, and families/caregivers to take care of themselves so that they can be fully present in order to support others. When integrating technology, the context of content is essential for learning to be designed in meaningful ways in digital learning environments. 

Sections B and C are based on the California Common Core State Standards and the teaching and learning guidance in the state Frameworks. These sections focus on standards guidance and serve as companion documents to the draft Mathematics Framework, and the ELA/ELD Framework.

Section B provides standards guidance for mathematics by addressing critical areas of instructional focus. The standards guidance is intended to support teachers as they implement mathematics instruction in online and in-person learning environments. The standards guidance is organized around the “big ideas” proposed in the draft 2022 Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (Mathematics Framework), with an adoption target date of May 2022, which seeks to support teachers in moving to the teaching of meaningful mathematics and enabling students to develop an interconnected understanding of different concepts. Chapter 4 addresses digital learning in mathematics which includes two primary topics: Preparing and Supporting Teachers for Digital Teaching and Designing Meaningful Digital Learning Experiences for Students. Chapter 5 provides an introduction to the standards guidance and highlights the importance of the content and the ways it is connected to other content and practices. Chapters 6 through 9 organize guidance for standards by grade level.

Section C provides standards guidance in English Language Arts (ELA), Literacy, and English Language Development (ELD) by addressing critical areas of instructional focus. The standards guidance will support teachers as they implement ELA, literacy, and ELD instruction in online, blended, and in-person learning environments. The organization of the standards highlights their relationships and reflects an integrated model of literacy instruction. The standards are clustered within and across strands and organized primarily by the five crosscutting themes in the ELA/ELD Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, which include meaning making, language development, effective expression, content knowledge, and foundational skills. Chapter 10 addresses digital learning in mathematics which includes two primary topics: Preparing and Supporting Teachers for Digital Teaching and Designing Meaningful Digital Learning Experiences for Students. Chapter 11 provides an introduction to the standards guidance. Chapters 12 through 16 organize guidance for standards by grade level.