SETDA Profile

Founded in the fall of 2001, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is an association that represents the state directors for education technology. SETDA's goal is to improve student achievement through technology. The organization's mission is directed by three principles:

1. To promote national leadership in education technology in order to support achievement in lifelong learning;

2. To provide professional development for state educational technology directors; and

3. To build partnerships to advance learning opportunities.

Members of SETDA work together in committees, subcommittees and task forces to assess, analyze and propose recommendations on how to improve student learning through technology. Through regular conference calls, meetings and electronic communiqué, SETDA members regularly exchange information on how to effectively improve student learning and teaching through technology.

Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), SETDA has conducted two National Leadership Institutes where state participants worked hand-in-hand with content experts and key people from the U.S. Department of Education to produce the 2002 and 2003 "SETDA National Leadership Institute Toolkit: States Helping States to Implement No Child Left Behind."

In addition, SETDA is involved in the development of the National Education Technology Plan and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. SETDA also strives to assist and guide education technology leaders by:

    Analyzing trends among states.
  • Collecting data across states, including the identification of a set of common data elements to help states comply with NCLB requirements.
  • Providing opportunities to exchange ideas with other educational technology experts during "expert talks" and "tech talks," as well as participation in a Speakers Bureau and the SETDA Book Club.
  • Holding two national meetings for state directors each year, with the SETDA Annual Convocation and the SETDA National Leadership Institute.

SETDA also works in partnership with the U.S. Education Department, education associations and the corporate community.

SETDA Initiatives

SETDA offers state directors and their staff members a forum to discuss and learn about the issues facing them with regard to NCLB. SETDA believes that bringing together technology directors from different states is an essential component of assisting them in more effectively meeting the goals put forth in NCLB. Some formal initiatives of SETDA include:

Budget Survey. SETDA surveys its membership to measure and analyze budget trends in state legislatures nationwide. SETDA members are offered an opportunity to tell their budget stories and analyze where each of their states fits in relation to the rest of the nation. This information can be critical in soliciting future funds from state legislatures or allocating state technology resources in the future.

Emerging Technologies Forum. The SETDA Emerging Technologies Forum is a one-day, multivendor event where invited corporations with new technologies hold focus-group sessions in order to present their products to five to 10 state-level educators for feedback.

Leading in Technology (LIT) Course. In an effort to help its members grow as leaders, SETDA's Professional Growth Committee developed a course focused on different aspects of leadership and completely tailored to state technology directors. The course involves in-person and online components and strives to create a community of learners.

National Leadership Institute. SETDA holds an annual National Leadership Institute in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education. The institute is an intensive, hands-on workshop in which work teams made up of state directors and staff create tangible products and services to aid in the implementation of NCLB and other projects of interest.

National Education Technology Plan. SETDA is a partner in the creation of the National Education Technology Plan. In conjunction with the U.S. Education Department, SETDA members from the Federal Policy Committee work to develop a technology plan for the future of education technology at a national level.

State Profile Survey. Last fall, SETDA conducted its first State Profile Survey, which focused on how states are implementing NCLB, Title II, Part D programs. The State Profile Survey was completed by 46 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, SETDA developed a National Report, as well as individual State Profile Reports, based upon this survey. SETDA encourages readers to review these reports at to learn more about these NCLB state-funded programs.

This article originally appeared in the 07/01/2004 issue of THE Journal.