White House ConnectED to the Future Convening
On Wednesday, November 19, President Obama, Secretary Duncan, and senior leadership at the US Department of Education welcomed over 100 exemplary superintendents to the White House. Selected superintendents were recognized for their leadership in helping transition their districts to digital learning. The Convening provided opportunities for leaders to share lessons learned with each other and with ED to help disseminate promising approaches across the nation.
Technology has the potential to transform education in America, allowing students to learn more, to do so at their own pace, and to develop the knowledge and skills employers demand. And yet, fewer than 30% of classrooms have the broadband internet to support today’s education technology needs. In June 2013, the President announced the ConnectED Initiative, starting with a goal of connecting 99% of students to next-generation connectivity within five years. Model schools and districts across the country are using technology to create personalized learning environments; technology will play an increasingly crucial role in the future.
Future Ready superintendents demonstrate effective use of technology in some of the following ways:
- Fostering and leading a culture of collaboration and digital citizenship;
- Transitioning schools and families to high-speed connectivity;
- Empowering educators with professional learning opportunities;
- Accelerating progress toward universal access to quality devices;
- Providing access to quality digital content;
- Creating access, equity, and excellence – particularly in rural, remote, and low-income districts;
- Offering digital tools to students and families to help them prepare for success in college;
- Sharing best practices and mentoring other districts in the transition to digital learning.
We want to specifically thank the Connected Superintendents’ Technical Working Group for sharing their time and ideas with us at the Department of Education in May. As a result of their feedback, the White House Convening was a big success.