Reflections on CTC's 2014 Ed Tech Summit

Summit participant Chad Swaim gives his perspective from Summit held in September.

I am currently the Director of Technology for the Wheatland School District. I recently attended the 2014 Education Technology Summit in Santa Clara put on by the California Technology Council. I was asked to write a short guest piece on the value I found in the meeting and with Education Technology startup companies and entrepreneurs. I believe it was time well spent. There were many great discussions and collaborations that came from this meeting. It is always good to know what companies are thinking when it comes to developing technology for education. It seems the struggles are real for both sides of the field.

Hearing from Congressman Honda was a real eye opener to start the session in seeing what the government is looking to work towards in helping education entities. It was interesting to hear from Congressman Honda that it's more about the equity and not the equality for students, meaning that what is fair may not always reflect equality for all.

I felt that this was a good experience and would love to continue with something like this in the future. I know there is a ton of information I, or fellow directors in technology, would be able to provide these startups to help guide them in a direction of what is needed in education. Also, many times I find there are already programs and software out there that I know would benefit us, but sometimes we just may not know about them. I feel it would be a good thing to come up with a group of key players to sit down with some of the startup companies and entrepreneurs, to see what they have to offer and give feedback. As educational administrators, we find it sometimes hard to know what is out there that we can implement to benefit the needs of our teachers, students and staff. If somehow we could get together a team to really give feedback or give expectations in what we're looking for, we may all be able to benefit in the end.

I want to thank Matt Gardner and the rest of the panel that was in attendance. It was a well run and organized discussion and I would love for the opportunity to be invited back.

Chad Swaim is Director of Technology for the Wheatland, California School District, a district of four schools in Northern California.