Empowering Inclusive and Diverse Communities of Professional Learning in EdTech

Location: Room 301A

Listen and learn

[Listen and learn : Panel]

Tuesday, June 27, 4:15–5:15 pm
Location: Room 301A

Patricia Brown   Rafranz Davis   Dr. Nicol Howard   Carla Jefferson   Adam Phyall   Regina Schaffer  
Inclusive access and voice in professional learning is just as critical as devices and connectivity for students. The missing voices can no longer be the elephant in the room. We hope through this panel discussion, diverse voices in all areas of educational technology will produce helpful takeaways, advice and change.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: PC, Chromebook, Mac
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: none
Focus: Leadership
Topic: Community outreach
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: Administrators : Systemic improvement
Administrators : Visionary leadership
Administrators : Excellence in professional practice
Additional detail: Global Collaboration strand session, Young Educator strand session

Digital tote resources

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

For the past few ISTE conferences, we have had discussions, an ignite and keynote speakers that have touched on diversity but we've realized as the climate of professional learning hasn't wavered that one-sided discussions aren't enough. As the Digital Equity PLN, we feel that we can't simply talk about student access to devices and connectivity without including teacher access to professional learning from a broad spectrum of perspectives, including race, culture, gender, age...etc.

We want to foster a discussion in a space amongst stakeholders while we look through the lens of "Positive Deviance" and instead of focusing on restating the obvious, look at a wide range of professional learning opportunities, including several ISTE affiliates, and focus on what they are doing differently to be purposefully diverse where others must improve.

Evidence of success will be conducted through a self assessment along with a shared site of goals/recommendations(Tech product TBD...google sites or Microsoft Sway). This isn't a panel where success in achieved by the end but one that requires ongoing commitment and work following.

The connection to "technology" here is about the people in the room sharing and learning. Without people, the tech is just tech and connections to those that use it is lost in spaces of missing voices.

We know that we cannot solve this problem in one session and that is not our intention. Our intention is that people leave with ideas that create real change moving forward in professional learning.


Attendees will be able to take advantage of Google Slide's Live Q&A feature for the duration of this panel.

We will conduct a brief (20 minute) Q&A based on questions curated through our online communities on this topic.

We will then share short clips captures from community examples of "positive deviants", those that have/are actively diversifying their edtech learning spaces well. We will curate their "how" for the room to learn from. (10 minutes)

Another Short Q&A based on examples (10 minutes)

Peer to Peer goal setting via online tool (cloud based/collaborative) 15 minutes with facilitation by panelist

Reflection and next steps (5-10 minutes depending on time)

Supporting research

The book, The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World's Toughest Problems, is our model for this panel discussion.






Patricia Brown, Ladue School District

Rafranz Davis, Lufkin ISD

Dr. Nicol Howard, University of Redlands

Carla Jefferson, Darlington County School District

Carla Jefferson (@mrsjeff2u) is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Darlington County School District. Her passion for technology and teaching has led her on the journey to assist her district in making the digital transformation. A former teacher, curriculum facilitator, and school level administrator, Carla's goal is to level the playing field for all children through the use of technology. You can read her sporadic thoughts at Teach.Tech.Love (www.mrsjeff2u.com).

Adam Phyall, Newton County School System

Mr. Adam Phyall is a former high school science teacher and the current Director of Technology & Media Services for Newton County Schools. Since Adam got his first laptop in college, he has been hooked on the amazing things that technology can add to instruction. Over the years, Mr. Phyall has been a keynote speaker and featured presenter at technology conferences across the country He is known for his fun and engaging presentation style and his humor. His philosophy on teaching is “if you’re having fun teaching it, then your students will have fun learning it.”

Regina Schaffer, Thorne Middle School

learning starts here

San Antonio

June 25-28, 2017

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