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Closing the Homework Gap: Digital Equity for All Students
Monday, June 10, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT
Presented by Dr. Carol L. Kelley, Superintendent, Oak Park Elementary School District 97, IL; Michael Arensdorff, Senior Director of Technology, Oak Park Elementary School District 97, IL; David J. Seleb, Executive Director, Oak Park Public Library, IL; and Dr. Beth Holland, Digital Equity Project Director, CoSN
Program Host and Moderator: Ann McMullan, Project Director, CoSN Empowered Superintendents Initiative
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During the past two decades, efforts to provide America’s classrooms with high speed Internet access have made great progress. However, the steady increase in the use of technology tools for learning brings with it a new digital divide between students who have home Internet access and those who do not. This “homework gap,” often exacerbates other preexisting inequalities, making it difficult for students to complete homework assignments. The lack of home Internet access also negatively impacts school-to-parent communication and makes it more difficult for parents to support their children academically. The promise of anywhere, anytime learning for all students requires that schools and communities come together to close the “homework gap” and the widening disconnect that impacts parents and guardians as well.
In this edWebinar a school superintendent, a district technology director and a public library director tell how they came together to address the challenges of digital equity for the students in their Illinois school district. CoSN’s Digital Equity Project Director joins the conversation to share highlights from the CoSN Digital Equity Toolkit as well as other tools and resources that school and community leaders can use to bridge the digital divide.
This recorded session is of special value for school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders.
About the Presenters
Dr. Carol L. Kelley is superintendent of Oak Park Elementary School District 97, a PreK–8 public school system in Oak Park, IL, with 6,150 students. Dr. Kelley is deeply committed to addressing historical disparities in school systems and realizing a compelling vision of educational equity for every student. A sought-after speaker and thought leader, she has been widely recognized for her professional work and contribution to education. Before joining District 97, Dr. Kelley spent three years as Superintendent of Schools for the Branchburg Township School District in New Jersey. Previously, she was Director for Curriculum and Instruction for Hunterdon Central Regional High School in New Jersey. Earlier, she served as a building administrator and elementary teacher, also in New Jersey.
Michael Arensdorff has worked in Oak Park School District 97 in Illinois since 2007. He has been the senior director of technology for the last five years. He manages a cutting-edge technology team that implemented a 1:1 program for grades three to eight in 2013-14 of over 4000 devices (refreshed in 2017-18), a new VOIP system, and a transformative copier solution. He assisted in the move of an administrative/data center office and is in the midst of planning a joint fiber build project with the Village of Oak Park. Michael’s work has included the voices of students, staff and families in a variety of capacities, with the Technology Advisory Committee being the spotlight of this work. He was recently a panelist on at a statewide event on data and security. Michael is a Board member for the Illinois Educational Technology Leaders (IETL) Organization.
David J. Seleb has served as Executive Director of the Oak Park Public Library in Illinois since May 2013. Previously Library Director of the Indian Trails Library District based in Wheeling, IL, David also served as director of the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District and the Blue Island Public Library. He was Director of Consulting and Continuing Education with the Metropolitan Library System and today remains active in the Illinois Library Association (ILA). Mostly recently, David served as the Board President of the SWAN area consortium, was a member of the ILA Nominating Committee, the Chair of the ILA Public Policy Committee, and the Chair of the ILA Fundraising Committee. With 18 years of library management experience, David earned his master’s degree in library and information science from Dominican University in 1995, and his bachelor’s degree from Saint Xavier University in 1989.
Dr. Beth Holland is the digital equity project director for the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Rhode Island. Over the past 20 years, she has taught in K-12 classrooms, served as Director of Academic Technology in a PS-8 independent school, designed professional learning experiences for schools around the world, and developed leadership programs to support systemic change. Additionally, she is a prolific writer, researcher, and speaker. Dr. Holland holds an education doctorate (EdD) in entrepreneurial leadership in education from Johns Hopkins University, a master’s degree (EdM) in technology, innovation, and education from Harvard University, as well as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in communications from Northwestern University.
About the Host
Ann McMullan is a 34-year veteran educator who served as the executive director for educational technology in the Klein Independent School District, located just outside Houston, Texas until September 2013, when she and her family moved to Los Angeles, California. For 16 years Ann led the team in Klein ISD that provided professional development on technology and 21st century instructional strategies to over 4,000 professional educators serving over 50,000 students. During that time Ann also co-chaired the Texas Education Technology Advisory Committee which developed the Texas Education Agency’s Long Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020.
Today, Ann is based in Los Angeles, California, working as a public speaker, writer, and independent education consultant focused on supporting leadership, visioning and planning to meet the needs of today’s students. She is a frequent presenter at state, national and international education conferences. Ann serves on the Advisory Council of Project Tomorrow and is a leadership consultant with Executive Service Corps of Southern California, serving non-profit associations. In the fall of 2016 Ann co-authored and published Life Lessons in Leadership.
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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.