Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 22
Edtech Industry
Network Summit
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Effective Edtech Partnerships

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Panel

Wednesday, June 26, 11:30 am–12:30 pm
Location: 122B

Sean Arnold   Laurie Guyon   Kyle Liao   Jeff Lisciandrello   Blair Mishleau   Audrey O'Clair   Jennifer Saarinen   Joseph Sanfilippo   Clay Smith  
Most Edtech companies offer certifications or partnership programs. Are they worthwhile for teachers and schools? What are the benefits? What is most effective for PD for creating a vibrant PLN? We’ll explore some of the most effective ways schools and companies have partnered to bring the best for both.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Principals/head teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Flipgrid
Google Drive
Google Docs
Focus: Leadership
Topic: Educational policy and leadership
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Education Leaders:
Visionary Planner
  • Engage education stakeholders in developing and adopting a shared vision for using technology to improve student success, informed by the learning sciences.
Empowering Leader
  • Empower educators to exercise professional agency, build teacher leadership skills and pursue personalized professional learning.
Systems Designer
  • Establish partnerships that support the strategic vision, achieve learning priorities and improve operations.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Schools struggle to stay up to date with emerging technologies and maintain effective professional development. Can partnerships with the companies who develop the tools themselves alleviate some of those challenges? Do some go beyond basic tool training to genuine classroom integration? Are the differences in levels or ambassador vs. certification programs? Can it function as a valuable PD or a worthwhile PLN? Are there ethical concerns you have with these EdTech partnerships? What evidence is there that they genuinely improve instruction? How can companies respond better to the needs of teachers and students?
We will examine how EdTech partnerships between schools and companies can be organized for maximum effectiveness from the perspective of both certified teachers and admins along with learning leaders from the companies. This will include exploring the most effective and efficient methods for professional development online and in-person as well as developing vibrant PLN networks that serve to encourage continuing educator growth. We will dig more deeply into the example of the NYC Schools Tech program which has partnered with several EdTech companies to offer certification programs across a number of disciplines and has successfully certified thousands of teachers who then document how they share that knowledge with their school communities.


More detailed information and resources can be found on the agenda at bit.ly/edtechpartner
:00 Welcome and introduction of panelists
:02 Overview of panel purpose and sharing personal EdTech partnership experiences and comparisons of different programs. We are also providing a platform for the audience to share their knowledge & experiences.
:10 We explore group learning initiatives for mass certification and training as well as the benefits and challenge inherent in the programs.
:20 Panel Discussion-We will answer a number of important questions on the issue several of which are mentioned above. Both educators and EdTech partners will answer about the specific circumstances that have led to the best outcomes. We will examine managing online vs live training programs along with the pitfalls involved with both.
:40 We will share how to create your own effective program of partnering with a number of EdTech companies to train and connect educators in your district. This will be clarified with examples from the NYC Schools Tech program that has trained and certified 1000s of NYC educators across dozens of EdTech platforms while maintaining the DOE’s stringent ethical guidelines.
:50 Audience questions-We will allow time for audience question via digital platforms (or live if the presentation space is conducive to it).
:55 We will provide resources for participants to continue their learning and participation in related professional development

Supporting research


More [+]


Sean Arnold, NYC Dept. of Education

Sean is a special education teacher and STEM coach in New York City’s District 75, citywide special education and is committed to reaching ALL STUDENTS through innovative technology and practices. He has won the ISTE Outstanding Teacher Honorable Mention, the ISTE Inclusive Learning Network Outstanding Educator Award, the NYCDOE Excellence in School Technology Award, and the EDxEDNYC Excellence in Technology Award. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Innovator, and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, along with many EdTech certifications. You can learn more about his efforts at BraveInTheAttempt.com.

Laurie Guyon, WSWHE BOCES

Laurie is the Assistant Coordinator for Model Schools at WSWHE BOCES in Saratoga Springs, New York. She is a Common Sense Ambassador, Google Educator, Apple Teacher, Buncee Ambassador/educator, Seesaw Ambassador, Nearpod Educator/PioNear, Flipgrid Ambassador, Sphero Hero, Tynker Blue Ribbon Educator, BreakoutEDU Trainer, Alpha Squirrel, Osmo Ambassador, Screencastify Master Screencaster, and serves on NYSCATE Social Media Team and inducted into Volunteer Hall of Fame for NYSCATE in 2017. She's presented at NERIC, NYSCATE, LIT, Apple/Google Summits, and NYSMSA. She's taught workshops at Skidmore College on integrating technology in literacy, and with the Greater Capital District Teacher Center.

Kyle Liao, Educate LLC
Jeff Lisciandrello, Room to Discover

Jeff is the founder of Room to Discover education consulting. His model, the 3-Bridges Design for Learning, helps schools rethink student outcomes through personalized and inquiry-based learning. Jeff partners with schools and districts in New York, New Jersey, and across the country to unlock students' potential for creativity, collaboration, conceptual understanding. You can learn more about 3-Bridges Design and read his educator's blog at RoomtoDiscover.com.

Blair Mishleau, Western School of Science and Technology

Howdy, I’m Blair! I’m a lifelong learner and educator, passionate about educational equity. I believe that my place in the equity movement is at the intersections of logistics, educational technology, and teacher support. I support schools, district, and companies with logistics and processes to support teachers and kiddos. The common thread of my work is on smart systems that help teachers increase effectiveness while making their lives a little easier. I’m proud of the work I’ve done to help schools better support students, and I’ll shamelessly talk about systemization, support, and EdTech until the cows come home. Let's chat!

Audrey O'Clair, Soundtrap

Audrey O’Clair is, first and foremost, a community builder. As an Education Specialist for Soundtrap at Spotify who knows that authentic learning is most engaging regardless of the learner’s age. She uses audio recording software to help everyone find their voice. Whether delivering workshops and seminars on accessibility and inclusion, or serving as Social Media Manager, her work builds educator capacity and grows teacher dialogue around the world. Audrey’s passion for education is built on the belief that wherever two or more are gathered, there is learning to be had. You can connect with Audrey on Twitter at @audreyoclair.

Jennifer Saarinen, Kickemuit Middle School

A middle school educator at heart, Jennifer has worked in the Bristol Warren Regional School District in Rhode Island since 2004. As an early adopter of technology use in her teaching and learning, she served as an original member of the BWRSD Digital Learning Team and is currently part of BWRSD's Personalized Learning Fellowship. As the Inquiring Minds instructor, Jennifer promotes social emotional learning while embracing design thinking strategies as her students learn and create solution pathways to the UN Global Goals.

Clay Smith, NYC Department of Education

Clay is a self taught programer. He works for the NYC Department of Education as the Lead Data Manager for the Committee on Special Education. Clay recently taught Computer Science at Cambria Heights Academy in Queens. He previously coordinated the Drama and Technical Theatre departments at LaGuardia High School, (the school that inspired the movie"Fame"). He was recently accepted into the Google Innovator London cohort, #Lon19. He is also a certified Apple Teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator.

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