Lewisville ISD Superintendent Dr. Stephen F. Waddell has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education as one of 100 top school leaders from across America to participate in the first-ever National Connected Superintendents Summit on Wednesday at the White House.
Dr. Waddell is among exemplary local school leaders who will be recognized for their leadership in helping transition their districts to digital learning. This unique conference will bring together officials from throughout America to share with one another and the Education Department promising approaches to using technology in classrooms.
“School districts across the country are helping teachers harness the power of technology to create personal learning environments for all students,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “We want to make sure every child – whether he or she is in the inner-city, in a rural community or on a Native American reservation – has access to knowledge and the chance to learn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The White House summit will be followed by a series of 12-15 regional summits that will focus on the digital progress, both made possible by local school districts. The events will also include the unveiling of digital tools that facilitate incorporation of technology into short-term and long-range education planning.
“I am gratified and excited to be one of 10 Texas superintendents to be invited to this summit at the White House,” Dr. Waddell said. “Texas leads the nation in education innovation and I think LISD is a leader in transforming learning and implementing state-of-the-art practices, including the effective implementation of technology to serve world-class pedagogy. It is a tribute to the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of our administrators and teachers, as well as that of our students, that I have received this invitation.”
To help spotlight the value of technology in schools, the Education Department is sponsoring a Future Ready Initiative aimed at showcasing outstanding school leadership and strategies.
“The Future Ready Initiative highlights the critical role of district leaders in setting a vision and creating the environment where educators and students access the tools, content and expertise necessary for thriving in a connected world,” Director of the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology Richard Culatta said.
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.
During the spring of 2013, LISD began implementing a groundbreaking and transformative installation of a flexible learning environment, called the 1:X™ initiative – an initiative to provide students with the tools to access, create and collaborate as thriving, 21st century digital citizens and is a direct reflection of LISD’s commitment to provide all students with a personalized educational experience.
In June 2013, President Obama announced the ConnectED Initiative, starting with a goal of connecting 99 percent 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.
Brittany Whitacre works in the public relations division of the Lewisville Independent School District.