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Driving Connectivity and Access: State K-12 Broadband Leadership

Monday April 11, 2016 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Presented by Laurence Cocco, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, New Jersey Department of Education; Jeff Egly, Associate Director, Technical Services, Utah Education Network; Christine Fox, Deputy Executive Director, SETDA; and Steve Garton, Senior Manager, Learning Solutions Program, Common Sense Education
Sponsored by SETDA and Common Sense Kids Action


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This webinar highlighted a collaborative report by SETDA and Common Sense Kids Action, State of K-12 Broadband Leadership: Driving Connectivity and Access. In this report, SETDA built upon the research and recommendations from prior publications with a focus on the role of state leadership in supporting districts and schools to increase high-speed connectivity and access for students and educators.

State leaders from New Jersey and Utah shared their state’s approach to supporting high-speed broadband access for all students, including details about New Jersey’s Digital Readiness for Learning and Assessment Project (DRLAP) Broadband component, a statewide broadband purchasing consortia which has greatly reduced costs and increased broadband access across the state and Utah’s statewide high-speed broadband network.


larry coccoLaurence Cocco is the Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the New Jersey Department of Education with the responsibility of supervising all federal and state educational technology initiatives. Besides serving on the Board of Directors for the State Educational Technology Directors Association, Laurence is also on the Thirteen/WNET Educational Services Advisory Committee and is co-founder and a director for Games4Ed. Recently he was recognized as the State Leader of the Year by SETDA. Many evenings Laurence can be found in World of Warcraft (WoW) conversing with fellow members of the educators’ guild “Inevitable Betrayal” on the educational value of WoW and other games. He has also conducted webinar interviews and panel discussions on educational gaming for G.A.M.E. (Gamers Advancing Meaningful Education). Laurence has a M.A. in Educational Communication & Technology from NYU. He is an Ed Tech and lifelong learning evangelist, looking to transform learning strategies through the incorporation of emerging technologies and brain-based learning theory.


jeff eglyJeff Egly has 25 years experience working in information technology. As an Associate Director of the Utah Education Network, Jeff oversees UEN Field Operations, the Technical Services Support Center, Project Management, and Application Engineering. Jeff serves as the Technical Advocate for central Utah and has been with UEN for nearly 18 years. Jeff participates in the ongoing planning, implementation and support of broadband services to Utah’s public schools, colleges, universities and libraries.



christine foxChristine Fox is the Deputy Executive Director for SETDA. As Deputy Executive Director, she collaborates with the Executive Director in charting strategic direction, administration, planning and financial decisions involving SETDA. She also facilitates the members’ professional learning opportunities including planning and implementing the content for SETDA’s virtual and in-person events and newsletters. In addition, she manages many of SETDA’s research and product development projects from conception to publication. The management of such projects includes coordinating data collection from all states, supervising consultants and staff, ensuring member input and supervising the publishing process. Recent publications and projects include Navigating the Digital Shift, Digital Instructional Materials Acquisition Policies for States, OER Case Studies: Implementation in Action, The Broadband Imperative and From Data to Information. Christine Fox’s background includes experience in education and consulting. She has worked as an educational consultant and curriculum developer for a national whole school reform model, ESOL Coordinator and 3rd grade teacher. Christine has a Masters of Science in Teaching English as a Second Language from Florida International University and received her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida State University.


steve gartonSteve Garton is Senior Manager for Common Sense Education’s Learning Solutions program. He is an expert in meaningful technology integration, particularly in large-scale initiatives. He supports districts with professional development planning, program monitoring, student assessment, and communication across stakeholder groups. Prior to joining Common Sense, Steve was the Coordinator of Educational Technology for the Maine Department of Education. At the Maine Department of Education, he led the professional development programs for the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, the state’s 1:1 program that supported over 12,000 teachers and administrators. As a member of the department’s leadership team, he provided policy support and leadership. Steve was co-chair of the Smarter Balanced Consortium Technology Approach Committee and led the initial technology readiness and assessment infrastructure work. Additionally he served as a member of the advisory council of the Maine School and Library Network, Maine’s statewide broadband network serving K-12 schools and public libraries.Steve has served as a technology director at the county level (Trumbull County, Ohio) and a classroom teacher and technology coordinator of the Sharon City School District in Pennsylvania.Steve holds a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Eastern Illinois University, a Bachelor’s in math education from Slippery Rock University and a Masters in educational technology from Youngstown State.




setdaThe 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. Our current work is guided by a strategic plan, Leading, Inspiring and Empowering: The 2013-16 SETDA Strategic Plan, adopted by the SETDA Board of Directors in October 2012 after extensive consultation with the membership. The SETDA mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice.


common sense kids actionCommon Sense Kids Action works with policy makers, business leaders, and other advocates across the nation to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed. Kids Action works to drive policies at the state and national levels that ensure all kids 0-5 have access to vital education and health resources; that all children have high-quality digital learning experiences; that their online data and privacy is protected; and that child poverty is reduced in America. With over 65 million Common Sense users, more than 275,000 educators, and potential advocates in every home and school across the nation, Common Sense’s advocacy platform is building a movement dedicated to making kids our nation’s top priority.

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