Meet the OET Team
Kristina Ishmael is an educator, learner, advocate, and agent of change. As the leader of the Office of Ed Tech, she executes the office’s mission of developing national edtech policy that enables everywhere, all-the-time learning and supports digital equity and opportunity.
In her nearly two-decade education career, Ishmael has worked at the federal, state, and school level, allowing her to develop a unique perspective on policy and practice and a vast network from whom she continues to learn and share. Most recently, she worked as an educational consultant and Sr. Research Fellow on New America’s Teaching, Learning, & Tech team, where she advised on the inclusive technology portfolio at the intersection of open education, digital equity, and culturally responsive and sustaining education.
Ishmael’s impressive career in education also includes her work as the Digital Learning Specialist for the Nebraska Department of Education, where she led professional learning, developed policy, and advocated for school librarians. This experience granted her a unique perspective on leveraging educational technology in urban, suburban, and rural school systems. Before her state leadership role, Kristina started as an early childhood and elementary teacher of emerging bilingual students in Omaha, Nebraska.
Kristina Ishmael has become a respected voice in the world of education and edtech and is a fierce advocate for equity and access to quality education for all learners.
Artificial Intelligence, Emerging Technologies and Research and Development Lead
Former White House Leadership Fellow
Bernadette leads projects to provide educators with guidance on: the impact of AI on teaching and learning; new approaches for evaluating the effectiveness of digital learning; the role of online communities of practice and social networks in supporting educators; exemplary strategies for district leaders to design, fund, acquire, and maintain technology infrastructure; and key considerations for successfully implementing personalized and competency-based learning strategies for both students and teachers. Bernadette served as a technical consultant and subject-matter expert to the National Science Foundation, 18F, and the Performance Improvement Council on projects to support innovation, entrepreneurship, and STEM education across government as a White House Leadership Fellow. Prior to joining OET, Bernadette worked to advance the use of technology for workforce development at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, and served as a consultant to design an innovative technology-based science curriculum for the Atlanta Public School District. Bernadette holds a Master’s in Education from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California at San Diego. She is also a former high school chemistry teacher.
Education Pioneers Fellow
Ellery Robinson is an Education Pioneers Impact Fellow at the Office of Educational Technology (OET). She brings to OET a background in special education through classroom, policy, and research experience. Her focus is on improving and promoting accessibility through educational technology.
Ellery taught severe special education in Massachusetts with a main focus on working with students and their families to develop life skills that will support them to have a meaningful post-secondary life. She also served as a helpline volunteer and then parent advocate for Massachusetts Advocates for Children, fighting for children with disabilities’ educational rights and supporting their families. She gained further policy and leadership experience as a fellow through the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy and the Institute for Educational Leadership’s Education Policy Leadership Program.
Previously, Ellery was a lab manager at Boston University in the Social Adjustment and Bullying Prevention Lab, contributing to research projects on education and mental health topics. Ellery also conducted independent research projects on the sexual assault of and sex education for individuals with disabilities, pre-service teacher training, and a bullying prevention program.
Ellery studied special education, political science, and psychology at Boston University. Ellery’s passions in education include disability rights, access to assistive technology, and social relationship education. Outside of education, Ellery enjoys walking outside, reading a good book, trying new restaurants, and playing sports.
Ji Soo Song
Digital Equity Advisor
Ji Soo advises the Office of Educational Technology on policies and initiatives aimed at closing the digital divide, especially for historically-underserved students. He also serves as the principal point of contact on interagency and cross-governmental collaborations around digital equity, including by representing the U.S. Department of Education on the American Broadband Initiative. Additionally, Ji Soo provides subject matter expertise on digital equity to Department-led external capacity building efforts.
Prior to OET, Ji Soo was the senior policy advisor at ISTE, where he led the research, analysis, and communication of federal, state, and local policy issues related to digital learning standards, educator credentialing systems, and professional development funding streams. Ji Soo represented ISTE as a board member for the Title IV-A Coalition from 2020 to 2021.
Ji Soo holds a B.A. in biology and education from Dartmouth College and M.Ed. in education policy and leadership from American University. He is currently also a 2021 fellow with the Institute for Educational Leadership’s Education Policy Fellowship Program. Finally, Ji Soo served as a City Year AmeriCorps Member in the District of Columbia, where he taught third-grade mathematics and robotics and received the 2018 WilmerHale Civic Innovation Award.
Education Pioneers Fellow
Jessica Ch’ng (she/her) is an Education Pioneers Impact Fellow at the Office of Educational Technology. She comes to OET with nine years of experience in higher educational access and admissions. She is committed to advancing equitable access to higher education for all students, particularly those from historically-excluded communities of color.
Prior to joining OET, Jessica most recently served as a fellow at The Education Trust-West, spearheading a landscape analysis regarding medical and oral health educational access, and as an Assistant Director of Admissions at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where she managed outreach initiatives. Previously, Jessica led recruitment programs for students from historically-excluded communities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and worked at the Posse Foundation in Boston. While at MIT, she served on the MIT Office of the Vice Chancellor Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the executive board of the Association of Black Admissions and Financial Aid Officers of Ivy League and Sister Schools. Jessica earned her B.A. in Social Studies from Harvard College and M.S. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.
Digital Infrastructure Impact Fellow
Michael Klein serves as Digital Infrastructure Impact Fellow within the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology. With 15 years in K-12 education as a teacher, coach, consultant, and district leader, Michael is leading OET’s development of the new Digital Infrastructure Guide, focusing on cybersecurity, data privacy, interoperability, and accessibility.
Prior to joining OET, Michael was an IT Director for a school district during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of an amazing leadership team and IT Staff, he ensured the district’s 2500 students and 550 staff navigated in-person, hybrid, and remote learning safely and securely. Before moving into district leadership, Michael supported a team of 12 educational consultants leading transformational change in districts across the northeast. Michael began his career teaching elementary school in Brooklyn and Harlem and was a founding teacher at a High Tech High school just south of San Diego.
Michael holds a B.A. in History from Vassar College and an M.Ed. in Childhood Education from Bank Street College.
Yenda Prado, PhD
Emerging Technology Impact Fellow
Dr. Prado is the FAS Emerging Technology Impact Fellow in the Office of Educational Technology. In this capacity she advises on national policy aimed at identifying and investigating emerging education trends and technologies – particularly as they intersect with topics of diversity, accessibility, and inclusion. Dr. Prado has expertise in inclusive education, language, literacy, and technology. Her work centers on social uses of technologies to support the inclusion, language, and literacy development of diverse children across complex learning environments.
Never having forgotten her own history as a disabled Latina scholar, Dr. Prado became powerfully motivated to understand the best ways to fully include all children. Her commitment commenced with her engagement in AmeriCorps educational equity reform at Title 1 schools and continued with literacy work in SF Bay Area public libraries and community non-profits.
More recently, Dr. Prado worked as a Community Research Fellow at the University of California, Irvine and drafted a first-authored book for MIT Press: Voices on the Margins: Inclusive Education at the Intersection of Language, Literacy, and Technology. During this time, she also served as an educational media advisor and Research Fellow with PBS, as well as an education researcher with the UCI Digital Learning Lab.
Dr. Prado holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Irvine, an Ed.M. in Education from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University.
Digital Equity Impact Fellow
Zac Chase serves as Digital Equity Impact Fellow within the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology. In his third decade in public education, Zac is leading OET’s development of the new National Education Technology Plan. Zac is returning to OET where he previously led the development of the 2016 NETP, represented ED on President Obama’s Broadband Opportunity Council. and led efforts to improve technology preparedness for novice teachers. Zac has worked nationally and internationally with schools and school systems on designing equitable and accessible learning experiences. Most recently he worked at St. Vrain Valley School District where he undertook the development of the district’s first open-licensed, freely-available curriculum for 6-12 English language arts.
Staff Away on Detail
Digital Literacy, Accessibility, Open Education
Kevin actively collaborates with offices across the Department on programs related to national educational technology policy and priorities including research and innovation, student privacy, teacher professional development, and open educational resources. He also leads the Department’s initiatives related to advancing the digital literacy skills of learners to promote civil discourse and combat misinformation in online spaces.
Kevin holds a M.S. in Instructional Psychology and Technology and a B.A. in Philosophy from Brigham Young University. Prior to joining OET, he worked on projects related to cultural interactions between students and teachers and efforts to create collaborative spaces where students and teachers learn together. He also was a middle school English language arts teacher.
Open Education and Libraries
Sara supports the K-12 open education work for the Department and leads the office’s efforts surrounding libraries and librarians. Sara joined the Department as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2014. While on rotation to the State Department, Sara supported the ECA Collaboratory’s work on open education, open government, and education diplomacy. Prior to joining the Department, she worked as a Learning Services Librarian and served as Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress. A former teacher, Sara holds a B.A. from Clemson University, a graduate certificate from Duke University, and a Master’s in Library Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sara enjoys making salsa, digging in her backyard, and packing a tent when she travels.