Digital Learning NC

Digital Learning NCThe State Board of Education (SBE) and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) are committed to providing personalized digital-age education that K-12 students need to be successful in college, careers, and as globally engaged productive citizens. North Carolina has key legislation in place that supports preparing educators for digital learning. This legislation provides digital resources, and ensures technology access across all schools in our state.

Our North Carolina Digital Learning Plan provides recommendations for state action that support K-12 schools as they transition to digital age learning. Both the NC Digital Learning Plan and the Future Ready Framework provide districts with resources to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans align with and support instructional best practices, are implemented by highly skilled teachers, and lead to personalized learning experiences for all students.

North Carolina has made significant progress through statewide and local efforts. Many schools and districts across NC have digital learning initiatives well underway. Ensuring all students have equitable access to high-quality digital learning is a priority for NC. The guidance provided by the NC Digital Learning Plan as well as Future Ready’s Interactive Planning Dashboard are valuable resources as we move forward with ensuring equity and continued student success in the digital age.

Digital Learning Competencies

Digital Learning Competencies

In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 23, which called on the State Board of Education to develop digital teaching and learning competencies that would “provide a framework for schools of education, school administrators, and classroom teachers on the needed skills to provide high-quality, integrated digital teaching and learning.” These competencies demonstrate skills that teachers and leaders should integrate into their practice in order to create digital learning environments. The State Board of Education approved the competencies on June 2016.

The teaching and learning process is a complex balance of content knowledge, pedagogical strategies, and technological resources. The Digital Learning Competencies for Teachers, informed by International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), and the NC Professional Teaching Standards, are to be viewed within the context of the current North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards as extensions in relationship with the ways that digital technologies impact and affect schools.

The Digital Learning Competencies for Administrators are to be viewed within the context of the current North Carolina Standards for School Executives as extensions in relationship with the ways that digital technologies impact and affect schools. School and district administrators should use these competencies to improve their practice, build capacity in their staff, and drive student learning within their schools. Each Focus Area carries with it a subset of competencies that help to explain and ‘unpack’ the Focus Area.

Throughout all of the competencies is the underlying assumption of leadership and excellence with regard to digital citizenship. Administrators should model the behavior they expect from their staff and students and should continually seek to represent their schools and districts with the way they convey themselves both on and offline. Teachers and administrators should use these competencies to improve their practice and drive student learning within their classrooms.

NCDPI’s Digital Teaching and Learning Division engaged district teams across the state in regional professional learning on the Digital Learning Competencies throughout July 2016. These sessions were well attended and provided district teams with a robust overview of the Digital Learning Competencies as well as an opportunity to begin the planning process for implementation in July 2017. The North Carolina Digital Learning Plan provided recommendations for state actions that will support K-12 schools as they become digital-age learning organizations.

Please find the Digital Learning Competencies for Teaches and Administrators attached below.




The transition to a digital-age education system that fully harnesses the power of modern technologies will impact all aspects of education, including the content students learn, the methods teachers use, where and when learning takes place, what resources are required, and how success is defined and measured. Systemic changes in K-12 education are required in order to effectively prepare students for the rapidly changing, interconnected, technology-driven world. Access to digital content is a significant component of a digital-age education system.

North Carolina is committed to transitioning to the use of high-quality, openly licensed educational resources in schools across the state. The #GoOpen campaign launched by the U.S. Department of Education on October 29, 2015 encourages states, school districts and educators to use openly licensed educational materials. North Carolina has joined the #GoOpen initiative and was recognized for leadership in this area by the U.S. Department of Education. NCDPI is committed to collaborating with state and district leaders, innovative education technology platform providers, and non-profit organizations - all working together to share knowledge and experiences to help educators transition to using openly licensed educational resources.  

The North Carolina Digital Learning Plan shared that teachers are using Open Education Resources, which are freely-accessible, openly-licensed resources. They are supportive of the transition to digital content, but they struggle to find high-quality, standards-aligned resources.

North Carolina is one of 20 States who have committed to be a Go Open state, which is the national campaign for open education resources. We have been and will continue to be engaged with other Go Open states as they embark on their OER initiatives, sharing best practices and collaborating to overcome challenges. 

We are excited to announce an agency-wide initiative that is partnering with ISKME, the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, and their OER platform, OER Commons, which will serve as the OER service for North Carolina.  More information concerning this project is available on the Open Education Resources page.

Associated Files