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Press Release: EdTech Community Educates Congress on 2021 Policy Priorities

Annual Advocacy Summit to Highlight Educators’ Pandemic Stories and Outline Policies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week over 100 education technology leaders from 35 states will meet with policymakers in the same way that many educators have met with students for at least part of 2020 and into 2021 – virtually.

With stories of their experiences in hand, these edtech experts will connect with key elected officials and their staffs to discuss actionable policies that will provide much-needed support for equitable and secure student success.

As Congress considers legislation to lead America out of this pandemic and into a sustainable future, it has never been more important for the edtech community’s voice to be heard.

Participants in the 2021 EdTech Advocacy Virtual Fly-in will raise critical issues with policymakers this Wednesday, February 24, and continue the conversation later this year, on April 14. This Wednesday, participants will meet with Senators and Representatives supporting policies to ensure a safe transition to a post-pandemic world, connect all students and close the “homework gap,” fund edtech and related professional development, and protect student data privacy.

“Connecting educators to policymakers is essential to ensure that remote learning is done in an equitable way for all students. This second-ever virtual advocacy ‘fly-in’ shows how we can take the voices of those on the frontier to reimagine learning and ensure that policymakers in Washington, D.C. make better decisions, particularly on how to close the homework gap, ensure the privacy of student data and provide much-needed edtech funding,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN.

“In the past year, through supporting schools to use effective digital learning practices, ISTE learned that providing adequate opportunities for educators to build transformative technology integration skills continue to be of utmost importance. We’re grateful to the group of over 100 national advocates who joined us in communicating that need with federal policymakers. We hope that their stories from the field will help encourage legislators to quickly make necessary investments that schools require to ensure that high-quality teaching and learning can continue during and beyond COVID-19,” said Ji Soo Song, senior policy advisor at ISTE.

“The collaboration of state leaders as they have navigated the complexities of supporting school districts through the pandemic has been tremendous. In weekly conversations throughout the pandemic, SETDA members have helped to identify obstacles and share solutions from state to state,” said Julia Fallon, SETDA executive director. “We look forward to this opportunity to bring federal policymakers into these discussions of how technology continues to be used to meet the diverse needs of our learners, through school re-opening and beyond.”

“The past year has been incredibly difficult for our nation’s learners and educators. The challenges they face have never been more clear,” said SIIA President Jeff Joseph. “SIIA and our members have been proud to work with the education leaders attending today’s events to help address the myriad challenges over the past year. We are proud to stand together to advocate for policies that will connect all students to needed resources, support educators, and protect student data privacy to make our transition from the pandemic into a post-pandemic world a bit easier.”

This year’s annual summit, which is lead by CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking), ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education), SETDA (State Educational Technology Directors Association), and SIIA (Software & Information Industry Association), will take place virtually for the second year in a row due to the impact of COVID-19.

The event will take place as Congress considers additional COVID-19 relief packages. Attendees will meet with FCC and U.S. Department of Education officials in April.

To speak with senior representatives from CoSN, ISTE, SETDA, or SIIA please contact Suzy Wagner.

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 ISTELive, 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. 

About SETDA

Founded in 2001, 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. 

About SIIA

SIIA is the only professional organization connecting more than 700 data, financial information, education technology, specialized content and publishing, and health technology companies. Our ed tech membership develops and delivers software applications, digital instructional content, online and distance learning services, online assessment, and related technologies for millions of learners around the world.

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