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CUE Leaders Integral in CA EdTech Blueprint Launch

Education Blueprint Launch

by CUE Executive Director Mike Lawrence

Several CUE leaders, including Executive Director Mike Lawrence and Board Member-at-Large Kyle Brumbaugh, were present at William Burnett Elementary School in Milpitas for the official release of Empowering Learning: California Education Technology Blueprint (2014-2017) today. Superintendent Tom Torlakson released the blueprint, featuring 19 recommendations for California to lead in its implementation of Education Technology over the next 3-5 years.

This blueprint was the result of the 48 member Educational Technology Task Force formed in 2012. The Task Force was announced at the Annual CUE Conference on March 17, 2012 and was followed by a ‘listening tour’ with stops at several venues (including several CUE events) over the next 18 months. Invoking both William Shakespeare and Aldous Huxley, Torlakson called upon the citizens of California, home of Silicon Valley, to embrace the “brave new world” promised through the effective implementation of technology across the state’s schools.

Three of CUE’s leaders were invited to share remarks following the Superintendent’s overview and exhortation of the blueprint, based on his “No Child Left Offline” mantra, which includes provisions to provide an Internet connected device to every student in California schools, appoint a cabinet-level post directing the blueprint’s implementation and establishing resources to support the state’s implementation of Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced Assessments. It was a well timed announcement, as schools across the state have been rolling out these computer-adaptive assessments over the last few weeks. CUE will soon release a follow-up document with specific resources, strategies and suggestions for the plan’s implementation.

Napa County Superintendent of Schools Barbara Nemko was first to be invited up, sharing a story of a Calistoga campus recently recognized as a California Distinguished School, and the effect that technology played in this recognition. CUE’s Executive Director Mike Lawrence was next up, asked to share examples of the power of technology to transform teaching and learning, and CUE’s role in the implementation of the blueprint moving forward.

In his remarks, Lawrence referenced that the “brave new world” Shakespearean quote Torlakson referenced ends “that has such people in’t,” emphasizing that by choosing this famous line, the superintendent correctly recognized that successful implementation of the blueprint is dependent upon leveraging the extraordinary individuals: educators, private entrepreneurs and leaders alike that distinguish California from the rest of the world.

Past CUE Board Member Hall Davidson was the last speaker to take the podium, sharing his expertise with regards to the powerful promise of mobile technologies to personalize learning, provide timely curricular support and useful feedback to educators in this 1:1 future for California.

All told, fully 50% of the task force’s membership were CUE members or had participated in CUE events with 25% being current CUE members. A question and answer with the media followed, with a school tour wrapping up the morning’s event.

CUE leaders in attendance:

  • Kyle Brumbaugh, Board Member at Large, Assistant Treasurer
  • John Cradler, Co-Chair, Legislative Advocacy Committee
  • Hall Davidson, Past Board Member, Awards Committee Member
  • Mike Lawrence, Executive Director
  • Gerald McMullin, Co-Chair, Affiliate and SIG Leadership Committee
  • Barbara Nemko, Chair, Nominating Committee
Gathered attendees at release of California's Ed Tech Blueprint.

Photo credit: Hall Davidson

You can follow California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on twitter: @tomtorlakson and read more online about the Ed Tech Blueprint.

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