AACTE Co-Leads Higher Education Subcommittee of ISTE COVID-19 Coalition
AACTE Responds to COVID-19
As every educator in the country can attest, effectively leveraging technology in our classrooms, both in the virtual and brick and mortar environment, is paramount. To support our members, earlier this spring AACTE joined more than 70 education organizations in the COVID-19 Education Coalition formed by the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE). The Coalition’s purpose is curate, create, and deliver high-quality tools and support for educators as they keep the learning going during extended school closures caused by the global pandemic. ISTE and coalition members have launched LearningKeepsGoing.org, a free, online portal with resources for educators and a help desk with experts from across the country to provide real-time support to educators. LearningKeepsGoing.org will also list weekly webinars, offering educators and administrators direct access to national experts.
As AACTE’s assistant vice president of programs and professional learning, I am co-leading the Higher Education subcommittee of the Coalition with David Sykhuis, assistant dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences, AACTE Innovation and Technology co-chair, and chair of the National Technology Leadership Summit. Members of the subcommittee include:
- Jamie Basham, University of Kansas, Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network (CAST & UDL-IRN)
- Mary Brownell and Michael Kennedy, Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children
- Tanya Joosten, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements
- Elizabeth Langran, Marymount University, Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education
- Lydia Liu, Educational Testing Service
- Antwan Perry, National Education Association
- Sean Smith, University of Kansas, Center for Online Learning and Students with Disabilities (COLSD)
- Medha Tare and Jessica Jackson, Digital Promise Learner Variability Project
In the upcoming months, the coalition will continue to produce high-quality and responsive resources for the field to meet urgent needs as they evolve over time. The higher education subcommittee will address two higher education constituencies: Our students and our faculty and administrators. The group plans to develop a resource for students who are learning in a distance or online environment and includes ways in which they can effectively access and benefit from the instruction. Another resource will address policy recommendations for educator preparation faculty and administrators as they a) continue to teach online and b) structure their programs to teach candidates to teach online.
Many of AACTE’s members are already advocating for a federal investment in the use of edtech in our nation’s schools. The ISTE Coalition and affiliate members of ISTE continue to reach out to our Congressional leaders to request increased funding in the next COVID-19 relief package. You, too, can support this initiative by reaching out to Congressional and State leaders via social media and district offices. Additionally, ISTE and the Education Commission of the States (ECS) have collaborated on a blog series to address state level advocacy and engagement. AACTE member institution, Fairfield University, is highlighted in the article Addressing Pre-Service Capacity in Ed Tech: How Can States Reimagine Educator Preparation?
AACTE will continue to lead through COVID, and we look forward to collaborating with our coalition partners to ensure all learners are benefitting from their education.