Invitation to the White House

The below was published in the November 15, 2014 Kendallville News Sun:

KENDALLVILLE — East Noble School Corp. Superintendent Ann Linson is among 100 educators from across the country invited to participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s first-ever Future Ready Superintendent Summit Wednesday at the White House.

The event in Washington, D.C., which President Barack Obama is expected to attend, will recognize educators for their efforts in transitioning schools to digital learning, according to a Department of Education announcement. Those attending the summit also will share ideas with one another and the Department of Education about using technology in classrooms.

The DOE is sponsoring the Future Ready initiative, which will showcase “outstanding school leadership and strategies,” according to the announcement.

“It is an honor to represent East Noble School Corp. for this event,” Linson said in an email. “We have excellent teachers and staff who, through their commitment and dedication, are ensuring our students are ‘future ready.’”

East Noble is in its fourth year of providing all of its students with either tablet devices or laptop computers through its one-to-one technology program. The DOE said using technology inside and outside East Noble classrooms “allows students to be engaged in their learning at deeper levels, using strategies that better prepare them for the future.”

“This opportunity to go to the White House and share with other districts across the United States is amazing,” Linson said. “It certainly validates the hard work and vision of our staff and school board, and commitment from the community. Technology integration as a natural part of instruction helps students develop their 21st-century skills and in turn supports a growing economy in our communities.”

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said technology strategies such as East Noble’s can help improve learning opportunities for students throughout the United States.

“School districts across the country are helping teachers harness the power of technology to create personal learning environments for all students,” Duncan said in the DOE announcement. “We want to make sure every child — whether he or she is in the inner city, in a rural community or on a Native American reservation — has access to knowledge and the chance to learn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The department said the White House summit will be followed by 12 to 15 regional summits that will highlight the progress school districts are making in adopting technology. In addition, digital tools that facilitate school districts’ adoption of technology in the near and long terms will be unveiled.

“The Future Ready initiative highlights the critical role of district leaders in setting a vision and creating the environment where educators and students access the tools, content and expertise necessary for thriving in a connected world,” Richard Culatta, director of the DOE’s Office of Educational Technology, said in the announcement.

According to the announcement, Obama launched the ConnectED Initiative in 2013, the goal of which is to provide 99 percent of U.S. students access to next-generation connectivity within five years.

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