Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Staying Undisrupted During a Global Pandemic

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Listen and learn : Panel

Dr. Tracy Daniel-Hardy  
Carl Hooker  
Sandra Paul  
Dr. Adam Phyall  
Brett Salakas  
Andrew Wallace  

Tech leaders are used to handling all sorts of disruptions, but the global pandemic of 2020 has created a new set of challenges that has taken our collective minds to tackle. Hear how tech leaders from across the country have stepped up to meet the challenges.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Curriculum/district specialists, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Distance, online & blended learning
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Support educators in using technology to advance learning that meets the diverse learning, cultural, and social-emotional needs of individual students.
Visionary Planner
  • Evaluate progress on the strategic plan, make course corrections, measure impact and scale effective approaches for using technology to transform learning.
Systems Designer
  • Ensure that resources for supporting the effective use of technology for learning are sufficient and scalable to meet future demand.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

In this session, the panelist will explore how the global pandemic of 2020 and Social Changes created a new set of challenges that forced them to adapt and adjust to meet the needs of students, teachers, parents, and their respective communities.
The panel will tackle topics about how they provided devices and internet access, provide professional learning, created virtual graduations, and provided onsite and offsite support to all stakeholders in their systems. The panel will explore all of the challenges they faced and will not shy away from sharing the failures and overcoming these hurdles.
The panel will also explore how they have addressed social change and digital citizenship in their district.


This session will begin with an introduction of the panelist and a brief introduction of their school systems.
We will then move to the immediate top three challenges that each district faced when the pandemic began and how they addressed each. The audience will have the opportunity to add to the presentation the biggest challenges they faced during the pandemic. The panel will discuss how they provided internet access to students and share funding sources and vendors that were used to fill the need in their systems. They will move into how the provided support to devices and share any tips that they picked up along the way. The audience will have the chance to use padlet to share how they supported devices in their systems. The panel will then share how they have used technology to address the social changes that have been occurring and how they are planning to continue to support social activism.

Supporting research


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Dr. Tracy Daniel-Hardy, Gulfport School District

Dr. Tracy Daniel-Hardy is the Director of Technology for Gulfport School District, President of the Mississippi Educational Computing Association, member of the Mississippi Department of Education's Technology Advisory Committee and many other civic and community organizations. Dr. Hardy champions causes and movements within her affiliated organizations that promote and encourage equity for women, people of color, and others who are disenfranchised and/or under represented.

Carl Hooker, HookerTech LLC

Carl Hooker has been a part of a strong educational shift with technology integration during his 21 years in education. As Director of Innovation & Digital Learning at Eanes ISD, he has helped spearhead the program which put one-to-one iPads in the hands of all K-12 students in his 8000-student district. He's also the author of the six-book series titled Mobile Learning Mindset, a guide for teachers, administrators, parents and others to support and embrace mobile learning in our schools. He’s also a keynote speaker and a consultant for multiple school districts across the country.

Sandra Paul, Township of Union Public Schools
Dr. Adam Phyall, Newton County School System

Dr. Adam Phyall is a former high school science teacher and currently serving as the Director of Technology and Media Services for Newton County School System in Covington, GA. Throughout his professional career, Dr. Phyall worked extensively with Title I and Urban schools to improve technology integration with economically disadvantaged students. He has planned and developed Mobile Learning plans for school districts in Georgia and Missouri that have led to 1:1 device initiatives.

Brett Salakas, NSW

Brett Salakas is an international keynote speaker; author; founder of #aussieED, the largest online network of teachers in Australia; and co-founder of the ED Poets Society and #TheWalkingED. He’s also a primary school teacher and experienced leader who, over the past 20 years, has taught in South East Asia and Australia. He’s committed to turning educational theory into real classroom practice, and he focuses his keynote presentations on connection, collaboration and inspiration. Salakas has led professional learning for schools and systems in Australia and North America. He has leadership experience within the New South Wales Public Education System and was a curriculum and digital technologies officer while teaching in Singapore.

Andrew Wallace, South Portland Schools

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