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6 Insights from Ed Tech Leaders Across the U.S.

Tech&Learning Leadership summit with illustration of three people planting flag on mountaintop
(Image credit: Future)

Leaders in education and technology came from around the country to the Tech & Learning Leadership Summit. There they spoke openly and passionately about current trends, critical problems, and possible solutions. 

Home use:

It’s a myth that kids aren’t responsible enough to take devices home. There was a consensus among attendees that If schools and districts put the right systems and structures in place, students can not only use devices at home during the school year, but they can also use them during breaks and in the summertime. Doing so benefits students and the feeling of device ownership reduces damage.

Ransomware and phishing: 

These are now emerging as enormous areas of concerns for educational institutions. 

Device diversity: 

Attendees were split on the idea of student choice when it comes to devices. Some districts felt it was important for students to pick the right technology for the task. In other districts it was an equity issue. It would not be okay for some students to have zippy brand new devices while others had older devices that couldn’t perform the same tasks. These districts provide all students with the same device. 

Evolving conversations: 

Joe Kuzo, Director of Technology at Quakertown Community School District in Pennsylvania, shared that it was nice to hear about the emotional, life-changing impact technology had on students' lives. 

Shifting digital citizenship conversations: 

Paul Sanfrancesco, Director of Technology for Owen J. Roberts School District in Pottstown, PA pointed out that the focus used to be on ensuring students are using technology responsibly. These days, the focus is shifting to ensuring the adults, teachers and parents, are responsible users. It is likely that our students will fix some of the mess we are experiencing now with responsible use. 

Student data privacy: 

We keep coming back to the conversation of student data privacy. We need to figure this out and get beyond this so we can get to focusing on the teaching and learning that students need.

cross posted at The Innovative Educator 

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several booksand her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times,The Wall Street JournalTech&Learning, and T.H.E. Journal.