Anna Edwards joined the Campaign for Grade Level Reading for a deep dive into how technology-enhanced teaching and learning, or edtech, is a smart investment that is accelerating learning and addressing the ongoing effects of lost instructional time. Anna shared an overview of the factors driving Edtech adoption and discussed strong support for this strategy from the U.S. Department of Education.

“Edtech, especially evidence-based technology [that includes] tools and strategies for teachers to use wisely to support learning acceleration is absolutely an encouraged use of [ESSER] funds by the U.S. Department of Education, and I think we’re going to hear a lot more from Secretary Cardona, [along with] the Deputy Secretary in the Office of Education Technology, in the coming months.” – Anna Edwards, Whiteboard Advisors

Anna then moderated a discussion with a panel of school district leaders who shared how their districts are leveraging ESSER funds to invest in instructional technology tools and strategies that have the potential to accelerate and improve educational outcomes for students. Importantly, the investments made now are integrated into their districts’ strategic plans, ensuring that this effective strategy can be sustained for the long game of equitable learning loss recovery. 

Shawn Bird, Ed.D., of Houston Independent School District in Texas also emphasized the importance of investing in teacher professional development as an essential component of delivering Edtech as a recovery strategy.

“We want to leverage technology in different ways, and teachers are a huge part of making that successful. So we’re spending our time and money on really developing our teachers to be able to leverage technology in ways that are not the same way that kids learned at home, but in different ways. We’re using technology across the core content areas, and it really is a heavy part of our [ESSER] investment.” – Shawn Bird, Ed.D., Houston Independent School District