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GOAL Digital Academy Leads Educational Innovation with Presentations at DLAC

In an impressive display of leadership and innovation in online education, GOAL Digital Academy showcased its cutting-edge strategies and commitment to student engagement and mental health at the Digital Learning Annual Conference (DLAC) 2024, held in Austin, TX. With over 1,700 attendees from across the United States and abroad, the conference serves as a prime venue for education professionals to exchange ideas and explore the vast potential of digital learning, with a significant focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) this year.

GOAL Digital Academy's presence was strongly felt as it presented two pivotal topics: Co-teaching and AI in the English Language Arts (ELA) classroom. These presentations were conducted in a Table Talk format by representatives, Kelly Watson and Hope Losh, facilitating deep discussions and exchanges of ideas with a diverse group of educators. The two sessions drew over 80 participants, underscoring the high interest and relevance of these topics in today's educational landscape. The interactions were so engaging that conversations spilled over the allocated time, leading to further discussions and the exchange of contact information. Many attendees were interested in GOAL expanding on their methodologies and innovative approach to online education at next year's conference.

This year's DLAC not only allowed GOAL to showcase its achievements and strategies but also underscored the importance of early student engagement. Emphasizing engaging students at the beginning of the school year is key to increasing participation, work completion, and overall academic success in the online environment. GOAL is pioneering efforts to provide engaging virtual opportunities throughout the year, thereby fostering community growth. Discovering the various ways other districts utilize technology has inspired GOAL to explore new applications in their learning labs and online classrooms. The importance of data in crafting better instructional practices and curricula for students across all grade bands was highlighted, with ongoing projects in literacy and plans to expand into other areas.

The event also stressed the significance of building and maintaining relationships with students and families to boost engagement. Educational Advocate, Lindsey Secrest commented, "Attending DLAC for the first time underscored GOAL Academy's leadership in online education, particularly in meeting student needs. I discovered valuable mental health resources, promising to enhance our students' well-being and empower parents. I'm excited about integrating these tools into my role with students and families."

DLAC has provided GOAL with the inspiration to initiate the launch of pioneering mental health support for students and parents in the 2024-2025 school year. This includes a confidential website and app offering free mental health resources, aimed at fostering understanding and support within families. This initiative will be accessible through the district's digital platforms, reflecting its dedication to the well-being of its students and their families.

Principal, and Director of Curriculum at GOAL Digital Academy, Dionna Randas said “I've been fortunate to lead a team of GOAL employees to the DLAC conference on four occasions. DLAC has served not only as a platform for learning and professional growth but also as a catalyst for strengthening our team dynamics. Every individual, regardless of their position at GOAL, has returned from DLAC with fresh ideas, valuable insights, and renewed motivation. I am deeply appreciative of this conference as it provides us with an opportunity to observe best practices from other digital schools, enabling us to identify areas for improvement while also affirming the effectiveness of our current efforts.”

The DLAC experience has solidified GOAL Academy's position as a frontrunner in online education, excelling in student engagement, innovative teaching practices, and mental health support. As GOAL continues to implement and share its successful strategies, it remains committed to enhancing the virtual learning experience for students in their service area.

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