EdTech Community Educates Congress on Policy Priorities in COVID-19 Era

Annual Advocacy Summit to Highlight E-Rate, EdTech Funding, Student Data Privacy and the “Homework Gap”
Washington, DC
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Today more than 60 of the nation’s education technology leaders will virtually meet with Congress, the Department of Education and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to discuss actionable policy priorities that will enable America’s K-12 digital learning transformation. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, it has never been timelier for policymakers to understand the requirements for utilizing online learning in an equitable way.
 
Logging on from over 30 states, participants in the Ed Tech Advocacy and Policy Summit 2020 will raise key issues with these government officials, including supporting E-Rate expansion and closing the “Homework Gap,” funding for edtech and related professional development, and strategies for ensuring student data privacy.
 
“As schools and universities face unprecedented challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, this Summit is more important than ever before. Our members have the opportunity to engage with their Congressional representatives and demonstrate the importance of federal investments to support schools in widespread transitions to digital learning,” said Joseph South, Chief Learning Officer of ISTE.
 
“SETDA itself is a strong coalition of state leaders, who have focused their collaboration on the e-learning strategies needed to meet this current challenge. However, schools need more than strategies; they need substantial funding designated to bring a consistent infrastructure and digital learning capacity to every community. To achieve this purpose, we join a broader coalition committed to educating federal decision-makers about technology’s impact on teaching and learning,” commented Candice Dodson, Executive Director of SETDA.
 
This year’s annual summit, which is led by CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking), ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education), SETDA (the State Educational Technology Directors Association) and SIIA (Software & Information Industry Association), will take place virtually due to the impact of COVID-19.
 
The widespread effect that this coronavirus has had on schools across the country will be examined during a Thursday afternoon meeting with the FCC. Attendees will:
 
  • Review the status of school closures and districts in their own states;
  • Discuss “Homework Gap” issues they are facing as teaching and learning is moved online; and
  • Examine in greater depth what E-Rate can do to minimize network challenges.
“As school districts urgently transition to digital learning because of COVID-19, this summit will allow edtech leaders to directly communicate their pressing needs to federal policymakers. Government officials can help parents and students benefit from technology-enriched learning by enacting stronger edtech policies today,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN.
 
 
“The upcoming weeks are going to be challenging for America’s teachers, parents and students as we all find a way to navigate life in this uncertain and anxious moment. This virtual advocacy day comes at a critical time. SIIA and education technology companies are proud to stand with our partners today to advocate for robust funding, connectivity, and student data privacy as we face this uncharted territory and prepare to address the ongoing needs of the education community," said Jeff Joseph, President of SIIA.
 
Learn more about the Advocacy Summit here. To speak with senior representatives from CoSN, ISTE, SETDA or SIIA, please contact Heidi Payter at hpayter@fratelli.com.
 
About CoSN 
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
 
About ISTE
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.
 
About SETDA 
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit membership association launched by state education agency leaders in 2001 to serve, support and represent their emerging interests and needs with respect to the use of technology for teaching, learning, and school operations. setda.org
 
About SIIA
SIIA is the principal association representing software, information, education, technology and digital content industries. Through in-person and online business development opportunities, peer networking, corporate education, intellectual property protection and government relations, SIIA provides a network of resources for its 800+ member companies that drive innovation and growth. For more information, visit www.siia.net.

 

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