Annual Advocacy Summit to Highlight Educators’ Stories and Outline Policies Needed to Improve Educational Outcomes, Expand Equity and Protect Student Data
Washington, D.C. (May 16, 2022) – Last week, over 51 education technology leaders from 21 different states met with policymakers in-person for the first time since 2019. With stories of their experiences in hand, these edtech experts connected with key elected officials and their staffs to discuss actionable policies that will provide much-needed support for equitable and secure student success. As Congress considers legislation to lead America out of this pandemic and into a sustainable and thriving future, it has never been more important for the edtech community’s voice to be heard.
Participants in the 2022 EdTech Advocacy Day raised critical issues with policymakers last week after holding the first part of the conversation virtually in March. On Thursday, May 12, participants heard from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner Nathan Simington and Commissioner Geoffrey Starks and met with officials from the U.S. Department of Education. Participants then headed to the Hill to meet with their Senators and Representatives about supporting policies to ensure a safe transition to a post-pandemic world, connect all students and close the “Homework Gap,” fund edtech and related professional learning opportunities, and protect student data privacy.
“It was so rewarding to return to face-to-face discussions with our colleagues in both the edtech community, the Hill and government agencies last week. To have more than 70 Hill visits scheduled showed the interest from all parties about better understanding how to serve K-12 learners. Hearing directly from the FCC about their commitment and vision to support our school systems/learners provided an excellent jumping off point for legislator meetings,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN.
“The pandemic has made it clearer than ever that technology tools are essential, but not enough. We need to help educators learn to apply powerful digital pedagogy, and that requires a strong vision and targeted investments on every level, including the federal level. This was a chance for those educators most impacted by federal policy decisions to make their voices heard before those who were elected to represent them at the highest levels in our country,” said Joseph South, Chief Learning Officer of ISTE.
“While the last two years have shined a spotlight on the broadband equity access issues that existed prior to the pandemic, we cannot waste the substantial investments that have accelerated the shift to digital learning environments,” said Julia Fallon, Executive Director of SETDA. “These advocacy events help us keep federal policymakers informed and provide an opportunity to encourage them to continue to support the initiatives that connect students to their classrooms and teachers from any location – at school, at home and in their communities.”
“We are incredibly proud of the partnerships our edtech members form to help America’s students. Working side by side with educators, school administrators and others last week as a unified voice in DC serves as a reminder to policymakers that digital equity, connectivity and privacy are so very important,” said SIIA President Jeff Joseph. “We will continue to work to amplify the voices of those championing these issues nationwide.”
This year’s annual summit, which is led by CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking), ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education), SETDA (State Educational Technology Directors Association) and SIIA (Software & Information Industry Association), was held virtually in March and in-person for the first time since 2019 on Thursday, May 12.
CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education. cosn.org
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a nonprofit organization that works with the global education community to accelerate the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation. Our worldwide network believes in the potential technology holds to transform teaching and learning. ISTE sets a bold vision for education transformation through the ISTE Standards, a framework for students, educators, administrators, coaches and computer science educators to rethink education and create innovative learning environments. ISTE hosts the annual ISTE Conference & Expo, one of the world’s most influential edtech events. The organization’s professional learning offerings include online courses, professional networks, year-round academies, peer-reviewed journals and other publications. ISTE is also the leading publisher of books focused on technology in education. For more information or to become an ISTE member, visit iste.org. Subscribe to ISTE’s YouTube channel and connect with ISTE on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. www.iste.org
Founded in 2001, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology and digital learning leaders. Through a broad array of programs and advocacy, SETDA builds member capacity and engages partners to empower the education community in leveraging technology for learning, teaching, and school operations. www.setda.org
SIIA is the only professional organization connecting more than 700 data, financial information, education technology, specialized content and publishing, and health technology companies. Our ed tech membership develops and delivers software applications, digital instructional content, online and distance learning services, online assessment, and related technologies for millions of learners around the world. For more information, visit www.siia.net.