NSBA Names '20 To Watch' in Ed Tech, Lands Pew Grant for PreK Action Program


Who are the emerging role models for education technology leadership? The National School Boards Association released its annual list of 20 candidates this week, a list that recognizes teachers, technology directors, CIOs, librarians, and others who have demonstrated innovation in K-12 technology to make a positive impact on students and teachers. NSBA also announced that it's received a grant to support its efforts in preK education awareness.

For this year's "20 To Watch" list, according to NSBA, "A nationwide search was conducted to identify individuals who reflect the spirit of creativity and collaboration that embraces the power of technology to enhance learning for students, inspire colleagues, transform operations, and engage communities."

Those individuals are:

Further information on each recognized innovator can be found on NSBA's site here.

"Innovation in K-12 technology is the result of educators with the vision, passion, and natural curiosity to explore new tools and teaching strategies that transforms teaching and learning," said Ann Flynn, director of education technology for NSBA. "Today, the exceptional accomplishments of these 20 individuals help us define our expectations for the role technology can play in the future. We hope this program inspires other educators to follow their lead and provides policy makers and school leaders with the insight they need to further support future innovation."

Those chosen for recognition this year will be honored at the annual T+L learning conference, which is happening this month in Seattle, and will be showcased in NSBA publications.

In other NSBA news, the organization announced this week that it and the Center for Public Education have received a two-year, $447,000 grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to support a preK program that aims to "engage school boards in support of high quality, voluntary pre-Kindergarten education." According to NSBA, the funding will support adding new partners to the preK program network, including the Alabama Association of School Boards and the Kentucky School Boards Association.

"We are delighted to continue to partner with The Pew Charitable Trusts," said Anne L. Bryant, executive director of the NSBA, in a statement released Thursday. "The last two years have shown us that school boards will get behind pre-K because it has been proven to help their efforts to narrow achievement gaps and assure student success. We are especially glad to be joined in this work by our colleagues in Alabama and Kentucky. Both states represent tremendous potential for furthering the public discussion about pre-K education."

The aim of the program, aside from engaging school board support for high-quality preK education, is to increase visibility of the issue and disseminate information about the benefits of preK education.