AAP and its members in the education space believe effective and engaging instructional materials are a key factor in improving educational outcomes. The highest quality learning resources incorporate pedagogical research, the latest advances in technology, and culturally-rich perspectives that reflect the diverse backgrounds of the students and teachers that use them. The Center for Innovation & Digital Learning (CIDL) is a new initiative led by AAP’s PreK-12 Learning Group and Higher Education members to promote a steady influx of forward-thinking ideas into the learning resource market, to support the development of next-generation educational technology, and to recruit early-career professionals from diverse backgrounds into the educational publishing industry through the ed tech field.
Why a New Center and Why Now?
While the Center is a new initiative, AAP’s work in the ed tech space stretches back more than 15 years. Since the late 1990s, the AAP School Division and the Association of Educational Publishers—first separately and now together as the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group—have undertaken a host of initiatives in this area, including:
- Trainings and conference sessions designed to support the industry's evolution from primarily print-based publishers to multimedia content providers
- Advocacy that has helped shape state and federal policies to support digital learning and ed tech
- Work in accessibility, metadata schema, and other technical specifications that support access, discoverability, and interoperability of content and learning platforms
- A revamped awards program, the REVERE Awards, that recognizes high quality prek-12 educational programs in all media—digital, print, or multimedia
The PreK-12 Learning Group has also worked diligently to cultivate a professional workforce that better reflects the diversity of America's classrooms through its Innovation Through Inclusion program. Over the past five years, ITI has:
- Exhibited at career fairs at historically black colleges and universities to increase awareness about careers in the educational publishing industry
- Partnered with a select number of colleges and universities to identify a pool of talented, underserved students who can be candidates for special projects or full-time positions at PreK-12 Learning Group member organizations
As technology and innovation have become integral parts of the educational product development process, we feel the time is right to build on this foundation of work and expand our efforts, providing members and the industry at large with increased thought leadership, research, and tools that support the development of the highest quality educational content and learning tools.
Goals & Objectives
- Become a leading source of professional development in ed tech and digital learning
- Build key partnerships with organizations whose missions align with the CIDL
- Build upon AAP's position as a thought leader in diversity, digital learning, ed tech, and innovation
- Facilitate dialogue between publishers, hardware/software developers, policymakers, accessibility advocates, school administrators, educators, parents, and students
- Recruit and retain diverse, early-career professionals into the education industry with a focus on tech roles
Current and future activities include:
- Webinar: ADA - Architecting & Designing for Accessibility
- Organizing the 2016 Leadership Series - OER and the Changing Dynamics of the PreK-12 Market - in conjunction with the PreK-12 Learning Group.
- Webinars, white papers, and email updates on digital and ed tech issues
- Attending and presenting at future industry events
- Establishing relationships with education incubator/accelerator programs to partner on programs and events
- Activities and outputs of the new Technology in Education Group
AAP is actively seeking partners and supporters whose missions align with those of the CIDL. To find out more about how your organization might get involved, please reach out to the contacts below:
Jay Diskey, Executive Director, PreK-12 Learning Group
Susan Fletcher, Senior Director, PreK-12 Learning Group