About Us

The Total Learning Digital team is proud to present our learning approach.  The goal is to increase teacher effectiveness, and bring up amazing, curious, articulate, learning children.


inquisitive childTotal Learning is more than a Band-Aid.  It is an evidence-based synthesis of best practices designed for excellent early education that builds teacher and student skills and understandings, literacy, learning how to learn, social-emotional skills, and critical and creative thinking.  Originally, Total Learning PD was delivered with trainers embedded in classrooms for a full year, and then another year of support.  One trainer could work with up to 5 classrooms a year.  This professional development was expensive, and constrained by times when the trainer was present.  Rather than infusing the effective, active-learning strategies into all parts of the day and curriculum delivery, Total Learning became another “special” for teachers to do.

The Digital Solution:

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To make Total Learning any time, any place set of strategies for delivering all instruction, we developed Total Learning Digital, a web-based platform for Professional Development. Total Learning Digital reduces the cost per student, and make Total Learning replicable, sustainable, and accessible to anyone. IDEAS’ partner in creating the digital format is NDi Teravision, and especially Michael Rixon.  Michael’s award-winning expertise in multimedia learning and communications has guided the development of a robust but easy-to-use platform for the digital content.  His continued attention to detail and eye for effective layout are evident in TLD’s elegant simplicity.  His easy collaborative style has set a tone for all those working on TLD.

The development team includes:

  • Dr. Sue Snyder – Overall concept and content producer
  • Allison Logan – Content creator and advisor
  • Michael Rixon, NDi – designer
  • Pilot team and classes from Bridgeport, CT; Hartford, CT; and Dearborn, MI
  • Teacher Advisory Teams from CT, Michigan, Indiana, Texas, California and Alaska

Total Learning Digital content provides any time, any where professional development for teachers, combined with a curriculum that builds arts-based skills and understandings that are then used to deliver curriculum content throughout the school day and across disciplines.  We are proud of being able to say “multi-modal, multi-sensory, hands-on, brains-on strategies that pattern the brain for learning” in one breath.  That’s what Total Learning Digital is – and more!

Interactive Content:

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Total Learning Digital is organized in modules.

Each module introduces one new strategy, and how to use that strategy to deliver curriculum content.  Additionally, each module adds to a spiral that builds positive classroom climate and social-emotional skills for independent learning, problem solving and collaboration.

Each module includes:

  • A teacher tutorial (Lesson Prep) to build teacher skills and understanding about the strategy and social-emotional skills
  • A whole group lesson designed for the teacher to practice the new strategy as students gain skills. The supporting theory and research from the field is included in each lesson
  • Video of each segment of the group lesson with a real teacher and students. This provides one model of how the lesson looks, sounds and feels
  • A STUDIO lesson that applies the strategy to classroom content (literacy, math, science, social studies, health, music, visual art, physical education, etc.) STUDIO pages are included so they can be printed and used, or adapted by the teacher
  • All downloadable print, audio or video materials for easy access, all in one place.
  • Additional resources that include extensions, articles, and so on
  • A Discussion Board with teachers at the same grade level
  • Access to the Total Learning Digital Blog to keep up with current events and research
  • Access to the Video Chat room, where teachers can consult with highly skilled trainers, or arrange for a trainer to team teach a class

There are 24 modules available at each grade level (approximately 1 per week, minus conference, holiday and testing weeks). You can choose the level of involvement that meets your needs.

  • Four Classroom Management Modules are designed to build a classroom community and positive social skills. Teachers tell us they start on day 1, and these strategies set the stage for a great year!
  • Five tiers of modules build multi-modal skills during the year. Each Tier has four modules:  auditory, kinesthetic, visual and linguistic.  Tier 1 is the Introductory Trial Sampler Package.  The Basic Year Long Package includes the Classroom Management Module, and Tiers 1 and 2.  The Enhanced Package and Continuation License include the Classroom Management Module and all five tiers.

Positive management strategies are embedded and introduced throughout the modules.   The well-structured, whole group lessons are accompanied by video of every segment with real students.  STUDIOs for small groups build independent learning skills sequentially, preparing students for project-based learning.  Additional resources abound, and there is always something new to find.

Interactive Social Network:

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Total Learning Digital provides a social network for all licensed users that links them to master trainers, and to one another.  The Video Chat Room is a great way to meet without excessive travel so trainers, teachers, and classrooms can share through interactive video technology.  A blog brings news from the field, along with thoughts about teaching, learning and community building.  The discussion board is a way for teachers to communicate with one another, and Sharing What Works allows teachers to post how they have used Total Learning strategies in their classrooms and schools through print and media.

TLD Trainers:

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There are Total Learning trainers across the country, but most important, they are available to schedule right into your classroom or screen with the click of a button!

We are thrilled that Total Learning Digital engages teachers in ways we did not anticipate, and leads to increased teacher quality, student engagement, motivation, and learning!

Are we proud?  You bet we are!

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