SETDA releases strategic plan, key priorities for state edtech leaders


A leading edtech association has released its new strategic plan, focusing heavily on using technology to personalize learning for all students and to empower educators.

The State Educational Technology Directors Association, which is hosting its annual summit this week in Maryland, prioritized a new plan that includes advocacy, state action, strategic partnerships, professional learning, communications and operations.

“Educational technology has truly become an integral part of teaching and learning in the Digital Age,” said Candice Dodson, board chair and director of eLearning at the Indiana Department of Education. “SETDA is proud to be the national leadership organization supporting all states to advance education through technology policy and practice.”

SETDA emerged as a major education stakeholder group in 2001, during the era of No Child Left Behind, which included the Enhancing Education Through Technology act. While funding was eliminated for EETT, officials at the association have set hopes on the new federal law, called the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The law promises to allow states the flexibility to choose what is right for their schools and districts, including hardware and technology.

State leaders and policymakers have wrestled with new, sometimes confusing policies. Purchasing and vetting edtech instructional materials, administering online assessments and using openly licensed content are just a few examples of how instruction is rapidly changing in classrooms – and how state edtech leaders need to keep up.

“More importantly, the field has come to understand that schools can no longer rely on one-time grants to purchase devices or build their infrastructure,” according to the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. “Rather, sustainable funding must be provided so that devices, content, professional development and infrastructure can be upgraded on a reliable cycle.”

SETDA’s priorities over the next three years are:

  • ADVOCACY: Advocate for education and technology policies and practices designed to effectively leverage technology for learning.
  • STATE ACTION: Inspire and assist states to act collaboratively to advance education through technology policy and practice.
  • STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS: Establish and engage in strategic partnerships to advance education through technology policy and practice.
  • PROFESSIONAL LEARNING: Provide relevant, high-quality professional learning opportunities for members.
  • COMMUNICATIONS: Ensure effective communication between and among SETDA, our members, strategic partners, and other key audiences.
  • OPERATIONS: Provide effective organizational governance, planning and management to fulfill our mission.

“With the Every Student Succeeds Act, our state leaders are in an even greater position to truly leverage educational technology across all areas of teaching and learning and offer equitable access to high quality content and instruction,” said Executive Director Tracy Weeks. “SETDA is committed to supporting our state educational technology leaders in these efforts.”