Today, President Obama will host “ConnectED to the Future,” a convening with superintendents and other educators from across the country, who will lead their schools and districts in the transition to digital learning.
The convening builds on the momentum of the President’s ConnectED Initiative, a plan to connect 99 percent of students to high-speed Internet, with the launch of the Future Ready Pledge. By signing on to this pledge, superintendents recognize the importance of building human capacity within schools and districts for effectively using increased connectivity and new devices to transform teaching and learning. Superintendents from districts across the country have signed the pledge. By doing so, they are demonstrating a commitment to work collaboratively with stakeholders to set a vision for digital learning; to empower educators through personalized, professional learning; and to mentor other district leaders in their transition to digital learning.
As part of today’s convening, the President will lead a digital pledge-signing ceremony, which will include the President and more than one hundred superintendents, who will be joined virtually by hundreds more education leaders from across the country.
During the convening, the U.S. Department of Education also will announce the release of two new publications, a toolkit called Future Ready Schools: Empowering Educators through Professional Learning and a technical assistance guide called Future Ready Schools: Building Technology Infrastructure for Learning. The toolkit focuses on how districts can use technology to connect educators and provide tailored professional learning experiences to students. The technical assistance guide outlines specific and tangible examples that will help schools to improve their technological infrastructure.
— Office of Ed Tech (@OfficeofEdTech) November 17, 2014
The Department also will highlight a Dear Colleague Letter that identifies specific ways that districts can allowably and effectively use existing sources of federal funding for technology that can provide high-needs populations with personalized digital learning tools.
Over the next year, the Department, in partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education, will host 12 Future Ready Regional Summits around the country to support district leaders in using technology to transform learning. The summits are designed to help districts create and implement district-wide action plans to fulfill their pledge to use technology to personalize learning. The summits will be open to all district leaders that take the Future Ready Pledge.
Since the President’s call to action in support of the ConnectED Initiative, more than $4 billion in public and private funding has been committed to the effort to expand high-speed Internet connectivity and wireless access in America’s schools and libraries.
Sara Trettin is Digital Engagement Lead in the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education.