SETDA: About Us
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology and digital learning leaders. Through a broad array of programs and advocacy, SETDA builds member capacity and engages partners to empower the education community in leveraging technology for learning, teaching, and school operations.
In 2021, SETDA celebrated its 20-year anniversary.
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. Nearly 20 years later, SETDA has established itself as the principal membership association representing digital learning leaders of U.S. states and territories.
The SETDA mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. In carrying out this mission, we are committed to:
- Serving every U.S. state and territorial education agency
- Maintaining a future-focused, holistic view on how to leverage technology for education
- Fostering collaboration among our members, strategic partners and other education leaders and policymakers
- Taking action on important issues facing public education
- Ensuring equity of access to all facets of digital learning
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, Department of Defense Schools and the Bureau of Indian Affairs are eligible for SETDA membership. The state or territory is the SETDA member and each state may decide which state employees should have the opportunity to participate in SETDA activities. There is no limit to the number of individuals from a state that may participate. Most states have multiple SETDA members with leaders from a variety of departments including digital learning, ed tech, virtual learning, curriculum, instructional materials, assessment, special education, IT, E-rate Coordinators (state employees), professional learning and Title II.
Launched in 2014, SETDA’s Affiliate program, establishes strategic partnerships with organizations that can extend our reach, influence and impact via high-caliber, non-profit education organizations, school districts, higher education and international organizations with similar priorities. These organizations bolster our efforts to advance education through technology policy and practice. Affiliates add important local or regional voices to SETDA’s diverse membership and strengthen the fabric of our national network.
The primary benefit of SETDA membership is the ability to work in collaboration with other state leaders to leverage technology for learning. The power of SETDA is in taking collective action, both in terms of advocacy and the creation of national standards and resources. As individuals, members have the capacity to influence or create policy in their states, but together our membership sets the course for educational technology on a national scale. SETDA benefits include:
- Collaboration with State Leaders – Members cite collaboration as one of the greatest values of participating in SETDA. They are grateful for the ability to get input on projects, network with peers, and share ideas across state lines. Members quickly build valuable relationships with colleagues invested in the same work. This collaboration is the building block of SETDA Coalitions; rally-points around shared priorities like eLearning, Broadband, and OER.
- Meaningful Professional Learning – SETDA member professional learning and networking opportunities are primarily provided through regular in-person and online events and interactions, including via the private SETDA online community and website. The centerpieces of SETDA member professional learning are the interactive webinar series and Brown Bag discussions, hosted at least monthly, on a variety of timely topics featuring state and national education leaders.
- Timely Federal Updates – SETDA provides valuable updates on federal education policies and practices. Members gain insight into the latest developments on the national level that are pertinent to their work in the states.
- Collective Voice on Critical Issues – SETDA membership provides a vehicle for state education leaders to offer their collective voice and vision on important education issues and policies, including funding for digital learning, educational technology, broadband and device access, STEM education, technology-based student assessment, digital and open content, teacher effectiveness, and online/blended learning. Our members actively participated in the development of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Education Technology Plans, E-rate and Modernization. SETDA’s collective voice continues to influence federal education program operations and policies to better meet the unique needs of students and teachers in SETDA member states.
- Access to National Experts – Membership in SETDA expands access to national education and technology experts in the public and private sectors. Through participation in virtual and in-person events, SETDA members gain insights into the work shaping the future of public education. Members are offered access to federal policymakers, leading educational technology companies, foundations, investors, other national education associations and professional societies, think-tanks, and leading academic researchers.
- Research and Best Practices on Technology and Education – SETDA is a key resource for research and best practices on access to and use of technology in education, focused on the experiences of states in supporting innovation in schools and districts. Annually, SETDA works with its members to compile best practice examples, track emerging trends in state educational technology leadership, and disseminate those examples widely to state and federal leaders and the media. We also conduct ad hoc and SEA benchmarking research on topics of interest to the membership and organization, such as eLearning, broadband and digital equity. Examples of SETDA’s work include:
- Focus Group Participation – SETDA offers opportunities for membership in small groups focused on areas like Title II and E-rate. These groups continue to influence policy, and provide a place where leaders can come together to build actionable content and share in expertise.
- Social Media Connection – SETDA provides almost daily updates via Twitter (@SETDA) to help keep state leaders and our partners up to date regarding education trends. You can also connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Per the SETDA By-Laws (ratified 11/7/2023), the SETDA budget is approved annually by the Board of Directors. SETDA revenues come from a combination of state membership dues, annual and event sponsorships, and government and private contracts and grants. Incorporated in Virginia, more detailed financial information about SETDA can be found in our annual filings. To access those documents, email Tera Daniels.