I admit it: I am an educational technology advocacy evangelist and have been for years. Why? The simple truth is that I am passionate about the power and potential of technology and how it can help reshape our educational systems and positively prepare students for the ever-changing world they will be inheriting.
I recently participated in the CoSN-ISTE-SETDA-CDE EdTech Advocacy and Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., in May. This summit was a chance to visit with Senate and Congressional offices on the “Hill” to share stories about efficacy as well as advocate for funding for technology and the E-rate program. It was easy and well-organized. Lobbyists for these organizations (Bernstein Strategy Group and Foresight Law + Policy) coordinate all the Hill meetings and assist in providing the key talking points, and you provide the context by sharing the importance of funding for educational technology and the positive impact it has on your schools and students. It was inspiring to join educators from around the country who came together to make a difference for the communities we serve.
These types of events give a voice to our organizations and communities and do affect action. The Summit is held once a year, but there are opportunities throughout the year to be involved. If you cannot travel to D.C., CoSN makes it easy for you to get engaged and advocate right from your computer through the CoSN Advocacy Network. These types of events give a voice to our organizations and communities and do affect action. The Summit is held once a year, but there are opportunities throughout the year to be involved. If you cannot travel to D.C., CoSN makes it easy for you to get engaged CoSN Advocacy Network. This is a great way to advocate for EdTech. The CoSN policy webpages provide resources and knowledge to be effective advocates at the federal and state levels. CoSN’s current policy efforts focus on implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), providing high capacity broadband for all students in schools and at home, seeking substantial funding for technology programs, and protecting student data. Who wouldn’t want to get behind that?
It is easy to get wrapped up in your day-to-day work and not make time for EdTech advocacy, but I guarantee that once you do get involved, you will experience first-hand how powerful your voice can be. You may even get hooked, like me, for life!