K-12 Education

Dr. Smith Speaks on his Upcoming Book and Accompanying Personalized Learning Program


Modern Teacher co-founder and president Dr. Shawn K. Smith was a featured speaker at the 2018 National Conference on Digital Convergence, held in Jacksonville, Florida in February.

Smith’s talk was based on his upcoming personalized learning book, The Shape of Change: The Continued Journey of the Digital Convergence Framework, which is set to be released later this year. The book chronicles the work of American school districts currently engaged in Stages 4–5 of the Digital Convergence Framework. You can download an excerpt of this book here. Smith’s previous book, The New Agenda, introduced the framework and the initial journey of districts through Stages 1–3.

Smith describes himself as an “education futurist.” The premise of his talk centered around the idea that we may not be able to predict the future, but we can—and must— shape it, particularly in the realm of education. He emphasized that the more we can make changes in the school system visible to others and to ourselves, the better we are able to accelerate and manage the rate of convergence.

Smith also touched on each of the five drivers of Digital Convergence—Leadership, Instructional Models, Modern Curriculum, Digital Ecosystem, and Professional Learning—and how they relate to one another. Leadership—those charged with engaging and inspiring stakeholders, and initiating the overall effort—should consistently be slightly ahead of the other drivers to establish alignment, accountability, awareness, and engagement. The Framework is designed to guide any school district, urban or rural, through the transformation from traditional classrooms to modern learning environments, yet it can be customized according to each community’s specific goals and needs regarding student outcomes.

After Smith’s talk, conference attendees participated in collaborative sessions and seminars presented by national education leaders. Administrators from more than 150 districts were in attendance, some of which are profiled in Smith’s upcoming book.

Is your school district currently engaged in the work of Digital Convergence? Did you attend the conference, and if so, what did you learn? Tweet us with your comments and feedback. We'd love to hear from you.


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