The State of Education: A Report from the SETDA Conference

The State of Education: A Report from the SETDA Conference

This week, SETDA (State Educational Technology Directors Association) celebrated its 15th Anniversary at the 2016 SETDA Leadership Summit(#setdals) at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland.

The Education Forum at SETDA's 2016 Leadership Summittook place on Monday, and included speakers such as Joseph South, Director of the DOE’s Office of Educational Technology, and leaders from a variety of organizations including the Council of Chief State School Officers, National Association of State Boards of Education, Alliance of Excellent Education, and CAST.

One of the highlights of the day’s program was meeting the students from New Jersey's Northfield Community Middle School (pictured), who won this year's Student Voices Award. The students presented a slide show that detailed their vibrant learning environment, which includes “Idea Streets” instead of hallways and learning commons instead of classrooms. Students and teachers in the school host edcamps on self-selected topics ranging from screen writing to crocheting, and the students reported these events were just one example of how the school values student voice.

The day closed with a panel discussion led by Discovery’s Hall Davidson on the topic, “Innovation in Education: Shifting the Learning Model.” Among the content discussed, Melinda George, President, National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future, said that schools can’t ask teachers to be innovative or disruptive without allowing them space to fail. She said school leaders could create an environment that supports learning from failure by offering “permission, validation, and time.”

For more information about the event, click here. Get more SETDA news by following them @setda.

Christine Weiser is the Content and Brand Director for Tech & Learning, and has been with the company since 2008. She has reported on education for most of her career, working at Scholastic and Gale Publishing before joining Tech & Learning. Christine is also an author and musician, and lives in Philadelphia with her husband and son.