Home Higher Education Launching a Digital Curriculum at Scale: Best Practices

Launching a Digital Curriculum at Scale: Best Practices


Creating and launching a digital curriculum is a significant undertaking at any level. Multiply that effort by a massive student base with a broad spectrum of learners, and finding new strategies to bring that implementation to scale are a must. 

Kara Thorstenson, DIrector of Digital Learning and LIbraries for Chicago Public Schools, discusses the district’s impressive feat of launching a digital curriculum. For her part in that effort, she was recognized by Tech & Learning with an Innovative Leader Award during the Midwest Regional Leadership Summit.  

Launching A Digital Curriculum: The Bigger the District, the Bigger the Challenges 

digital curriculum

(Image credit: Kara Thorstenson)

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the fourth largest school district in the U.S, with more than 323,000 students, spread across 634 schools, encompassing 24.7% English language learners and 16.1% diverse learners. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the district did not have a formal districtwide 1-to-1 device plan. The shift to remote learning required a rush to distribute tech to cover students, with 1-to-1 remaining the CPS norm since. But a shift to digital learning required more than tablets-in-hand, and that change started from the top down.

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