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Leading Learning in a Blended Environment: What Works for Students, Teachers and Administrators
Monday, March 8, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST
Presented by Dr. Mark Benigni, Superintendent, Meriden Public Schools (CT); Dr. Alan Seibert, Superintendent, Salem City Schools (VA); Dr. Jason Van Heukelum, Superintendent, Winchester Public Schools (VA); and Diane W. Doersch, Technical Project Director for Digital Promise and the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (#VILs) Program
Moderated by Ann McMullan, Project Director, EmpowerED Superintendent Initiative, CoSN (Consortium for School Networking)
The recording will be posted on this page after the live session.
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Blended learning activities have been around for decades. Although, in the past, these student learning activities usually took place inside a school classroom when technology tools were available. However, since the challenges of COVID-19 presented themselves about a year ago, blended learning is now a function of teaching and learning in not only face-to-face classrooms, but also in remote and hybrid learning situations.
When done well, blended learning combines the best of both traditional and digital teaching which results in more engaging learning experiences. Digital tools, if used appropriately, can allow for more personalized instruction as well as open up new opportunities for collaboration, communication and project-based learning. But the effective implementation of blended learning does not happen automatically.
In this edWebinar, three stellar superintendents share the leadership strategies they have employed to get the most out of blended learning for their students, teachers and administrators. The technical project director for Digital Promise and the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (#VILs) Program will also join in the conversation. Examples of effective blended learning activities will be shared along with resources to assist others in leading and implementing successful blended learning environments.
This edWebinar will be of particular value to school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.
About the Presenters
Mark D. Benigni, Ed.D. has been an educator for over 20 years and begins his 10th year as Superintendent of the Meriden Public Schools. Dr. Benigni served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and Mayor of the City of Meriden. In addition to leading the Meriden Public Schools to its highest academic scores in district history, Dr. Benigni has presented at national conferences, taught doctorate classes, and published a book and numerous articles. He was recognized as CoSN’s 2018 Empowered Superintendent, a 2015 Education Week Leaders to Learn From, and one of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce’s Ten Outstanding Young Americans. The Meriden Public Schools has received awards from CoSN, the Learning Counsel, NSBA, Digital Promise, District Administration, and Edutopia. Dr. Benigni is currently the co-chair of the Connecticut Association of Urban Superintendents, as well as 2nd Vice President of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.
Dr. Alan Seibert is a New Jersey native who attended Virginia Tech and did his student teaching at Salem High School, where he was hired as a science teacher. Over the past 30 years, he has held leadership positions at the high, middle, and elementary levels in Salem City Schools and is currently in his 15th school year as Division Superintendent. Dr. Seibert is currently serving as president of VASCD, is a past president of VASS, a former subcommittee chair on the Virginia Standards of Learning Innovation Committee, co-author of a book, The Ninth Grade Opportunity: Transforming Schools from the Bottom Up, and in 2015 was named Virginia’s Curriculum Leader of the Year by VASCD. Dr. Seibert is married to Dr. Michele Seibert, a member of the research faculty at Virginia Tech where she directs Virginia Career View, the Commonwealth’s Career Information Delivery System. They have three sons, Chad, Logan, and Tyler.
Born in Michigan and raised in Rochester, New York, Dr. Jason Van Heukelum has worked in the field of education for 20 years, including three years as the headmaster of an International School in La Paz, Bolivia. His experience includes serving as a math teacher, coach, high school assistant principal, middle school principal, and deputy superintendent—all in North Carolina. Dr. Van Heukelum believes that great schools use a combination of high expectations and high community engagement to maximize student potential in a nurturing and caring environment. Over the last ten years, Dr. Van Heukelum has secured over $15 million in grants for innovative ideas that meet the emerging needs of our future society. This includes education programs like Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, International Baccalaureate programs, Spanish and Mandarin immersion programs, STEM programs, computer science immersion and high school academies. Dr. Van Heukelum serves on CoSN’s Superintendent Advisory Panel.
Diane W. Doersch serves as a Technical Project Director for Digital Promise and the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (#VILs) Program. She came from a career in public education, first as an elementary school teacher, then a middle school computer applications teacher, and finally director of technology in a Wisconsin school district with approximately 6,000 students. She then served as Chief Technology and Information Officer in one of the five largest school districts in the state. In that role, Diane helped develop a statewide data warehouse consortium for school districts, worked to transform her school district with laptops for educators and 1:1 devices for students, and earned her Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL) certification. Diane serves on the boards of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and #EquityEDU, and is on ClassLink’s Senior Advisors Group as well as an officer of Women in Technology (WIT) Wisconsin.
About the Host
Ann McMullan is Project Director for CoSN’s EmpowerED Superintendents Initiative. Ann served as Executive Director for Educational Technology in Klein ISD, near Houston, Texas until September 2013, when she and her family moved to Los Angeles, California. For 16 years Ann led the district team that provided professional development on technology and 21st century instructional strategies to 4,000 educators serving 50,000 students. She was co-chair of the Texas Education Technology Advisory Committee which developed the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology.
Today, Ann works as a public speaker, writer, and education consultant focused on leadership to meet the needs of today’s students. Ann serves on the edWeb.net Advisory Board, ClassLink’s Senior Advisors Group, and is a founding member of ERDI’s Alliance for Education Impact Advisory Council. She also volunteers as a leadership consultant with Executive Service Corps of Southern California, serving non-profit associations. Ann is the co-author of Life Lessons in Leadership, available on Amazon.com.
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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.
ClassLink empowers your students and teachers with instant access to their learning resources. ClassLink® OneClick® includes a library of over 5,000 single sign-on apps and instant links to file folders at school and on Google, Office 365, and Dropbox cloud drives. ClassLink Roster Server easily and securely delivers class rosters to any publisher using open technology standards. ClassLink Analytics gives decision makers the usage data they need. Accessible from any computer, tablet or smartphone, ClassLink is ideal for 1to1 and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives.