The Ed-Tech Leadership & Innovation Summit

Free Online Event: The Ed-Tech Leadership & Innovation Summit

Cutting through the hype, learning valuable lessons

Download a PDF of the key takeaways

On Wednesday, June 5, 2019, Education Week will be hosting its first virtual summit with a dedicated focus on education technology and innovation. The event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. ET. During this online event, Education Week journalists and guests will staff “discussion rooms” that delve into a set of issues that are very much top-of-mind for ed-tech specialists in schools and districts, entrepreneurs developing new education tools and solutions, and administrators and educators working with these technologies in schools and districts across the country. Some key themes and guiding questions:

Education Week’s newsroom offers you an opportunity to probe and better understand the challenges facing ed-tech leaders and innovators.

In this Online Summit, Education Week journalists and guests will staff online "discussion" rooms on a host of topics, including:

    • Why technology is not transforming teaching, with a special look at a nationally representative survey that examines the attitudes, beliefs, and practices of K-12 teachers as they relate to technology-driven innovation.
    • How teachers are using technology to engage students, differentiate instruction, assess learning, and communicate with parents.
    • What principals are saying are the biggest lessons they have learned about using technology more effectively to improve student learning.
    • How cybersecurity nightmares are forcing schools to develop better and more innovative strategies and tactics for protecting against those threats, including exclusive data from a nationally representative survey of district ed-tech leaders.
    • How school district leaders are balancing the desire to innovate with the need to effectively maintain the educational technologies already in place.

Thank you to those who joined us for this event, which took place on June 5, 2019.


June 5, 2019
1-3 p.m. ET*

Social Media


EdWeek on Facebook EdWeek on Twitter

*Agenda and times subject to change. Check back regularly for updates.

Event Video

Ed-Tech Leaders & Innovators: In Conversation With Education Week

  • 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET | Discussion Rooms Open
    Education Week journalists and guests provide practical takeaways on the challenges facing ed-tech leaders and innovators.

    Room 1: Why Technology Is Not Transforming Teaching
    Moderator: Kevin Bushweller, Assistant Managing Editor, Education Week, and Executive Editor, EdWeek Market Brief
    Guests: Danielle Johnson, Dynamic Learning Project Coaching Fellow, Barbara Bush Middle Schools, Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District, Texas; Matt Warnock, Principal, Barbara Bush Middle Schools, Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District, Texas
    ‣ Using the results of a nationally representative survey of teachers released this year as a starting point, this discussion will examine teachers’ attitudes, beliefs, and practices related to the use of technology. The discussion will reveal the extent to which technology-based tools and processes have changed teachers’ day-to-day work, for what purposes teachers are most likely to try new technology tools, and the barriers associated with experimenting with new technologies.

    Room 2: How to Better Engage Students, Differentiate Instruction, Assess Learning, and Communicate With Parents
    Moderator: Sarah Schwartz, Staff Writer, Education Week
    Guests: Sophia Garcia-Smith, 2nd Grade Teacher, Orchard Place Elementary School, Des Plaines, Ill.; Robyn Williams, Personalized Learning Lead, Eagle’s Landing High School, Henry County, Ga.
    ‣ Learn how teachers are using new technologies and processes to raise student engagement, differentiate instruction in sophisticated ways, use more meaningful assessments, and put in place better tools to communicate with parents. This discussion will address the difficulties teachers are having putting these strategies and tactics in place and what it will take to help teachers overcome those barriers.

    Room 3: Why Principals Are the Lynchpins for Ed-Tech Success
    Moderator: Michelle R. Davis, Senior Writer, EdWeek Market Brief
    Guest: Sarah Guerrero, Principal, Northbrook Middle School, Houston, Texas
    ‣ Principals build the culture within their schools. Is that a culture of experimentation and innovation or a more cautious environment? As the pace of technological change quickens in schools, the type of culture a school embraces is becoming increasingly important for the success of technology-driven teaching and learning initiatives, professional development, and the use of data. This discussion will show the steps principals are taking to manage all this change.

    Room 4: Big Threat to Ed-Tech Innovation: Cybersecurity
    Moderator: Benjamin Herold, Staff Writer, Education Week
    Guest: Douglas A. Levin, President, EdTech Strategies, LLC
    ‣ How cybersecurity nightmares are forcing schools to develop better and more sophisticated strategies and tactics for protecting against those threats. This discussion will feature exclusive data from a nationally representative survey of district ed-tech leaders conducted by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and the Education Week Research Center. It will also feature specific advice for district leaders, principals, and teachers on steps to take to protect their schools.

    Room 5: How Companies Need to Support Ed-Tech Implementation
    Moderator: Sean Cavanagh, Senior Editor, EdWeek Market Brief
    Guests: Jin-Soo Huh, Executive Director of Academic Innovation, Distinctive Schools; Pete Just, Chief Technology Officer, Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, Indianapolis, Ind.
    ‣ Many districts devote big chunks of their budgets to ed-tech products, only to end up disappointed when they don’t deliver results they want – or even worse, when they barely get used in classrooms. We look at the factors that trip up K-12 districts on their way to implementing ed-tech products, and what vendors need to do better, in terms of supporting administrators and teachers with professional development, and easy-to-use and intuitive products.

    Room 6: Beyond Shiny Objects: What Really Works in Ed Tech
    Moderator: Tonika Cheek Clayton, Managing Partner, Ed Tech team at NewSchools Venture Fund
    ‣ Many ed tech products have been created in the past decade, but only a small number were developed specifically to address market gaps and meet needs identified by educators. Join Tonika Cheek Clayton for a discussion with three ed tech innovators whose products are more than shiny objects. Find out why their ed tech tools really work.

  • 2:30–3:00 p.m. ET | Final Reporter Wrap-up
    Ed-Tech Leaders & Innovators: In Conversation With Education Week
    Led by the reporters, the Education Week newsroom will close out the day with insights from the discussions they’ve had with you, the Education Week readers.

Guests, Speakers, and Moderators

Kevin Bushweller
Assistant Managing Editor
Education Week;
Executive Editor
EdWeek Market Brief

Bushweller is an assistant managing editor for Education Week who oversees coverage of educational technology and the K-12 marketplace. He also manages the Digital Directions and EdWeek Market Brief online channels and serves as project editor of Technology Counts, Education Week's annual report about the state of ed tech. Bushweller began working at Education Week in 2000, and has been covering education for newspapers and magazines for more than 25 years. Earlier in his career, he was a senior editor for American School Board Journal and Electronic School magazines.

Sean Cavanagh
Senior Editor
EdWeek Market Brief

Cavanagh is a reporter and editor for Education Week, where he has covered a variety of beats since 2002. His primary focus is on business and technology issues in K-12 education. Previously he covered math and science education, charter schools and school choice, and federal policy. Before joining Education Week, he was a reporter for daily newspapers in Tennessee and Florida.

Michelle R. Davis
Senior Writer
EdWeek Market Brief

Davis is a senior contributing writer for Education Week who covers educational technology, including trends around digital education. Davis began working at Education Week in 2002 as a federal education reporter after covering Congress and the federal government in Knight Ridder's Washington bureau. She is a graduate of Syracuse University and gets to observe education from a personal perspective as she watches her two children progress through public school.

Sophia Garcia-Smith
2nd Grade Teacher
Orchard Place Elementary School
Des Plaines, Ill.

Garcia-Smith is a 2nd grade teacher who loves to create, collaborate, and share her love of teaching and technology. She currently works in a suburban Chicago school district. She has presented at many educational tech conferences across the United States. She has connected with schools from around the world looking to give her students an authentic audience.

Sarah Guerrero
Northbrook Middle School
Houston, Texas

Guerrero has been the principal of Northbrook Middle School in Houston's Spring Branch Independent School District for four years. She and her team launched an innovative personalized learning initiative at the school that resulted in significant improvements around academic achievement, school culture, and parent involvement.

Benjamin Herold
Staff Writer
Education Week

Herold is a reporter covering educational technology for Education Week. He joined Education Week in 2013. Previously, Herold covered the Philadelphia school district for WHYY public radio station and the Philadelphia Public School Notebook. He has won awards as the nation's top education beat reporter and for his feature reporting on the city's mass school closings. He has previously worked as a policy researcher, an independent documentary filmmaker, and a training specialist for rape-crisis and domestic-violence-prevention organizations.

Jin-Soo Huh
Executive Director of Academic Innovation
Distinctive Schools

Huh is the executive director of academic innovation at Distinctive Schools, an operator of charter schools in Chicago and Detroit. He refines personalized learning models and supports educators in implementation. He has also worked as their director of technology.

Danielle Johnson
Dynamic Learning Project Coaching Fellow
Barbara Bush Middle Schools, Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District, Texas

Johnson is in her second year as the Dynamic Learning Project Coaching Fellow at Barbara Bush Middle School. As part of this coaching collaborative with Google for Edu, EdTechTeam, and Digital Promise, she works to improve educational equity by empowering teachers to leverage technology in transformative ways.

Pete Just
Chief Technology Officer
Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township
Indianapolis, Ind.

Just is the chief technology officer for the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indianapolis, Ind. He’s a former biology teacher who taught high school science and media for 13 years. He was involved in the launch of Indiana's first online school in 1999 and additional online and blended programs including the district's Achieve Virtual Education Academy. He is the co-founder and past chair of the Indiana Chief Technology Officers Council, which is the Indiana chapter of the Consortium for School Networking, an organization representing the nation’s K-12 technology officers. He is currently COSN board chair.

Douglas A. Levin
EdTech Strategies, LLC

Levin is president of EdTech Strategies, LLC and founder of the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center, which was launched in 2018 to shed light on the emerging cybersecurity risks facing U.S. K-12 public schools. He has been engaged in education and technology policy issues for over two decades in a variety of prominent roles, including serving previously as executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association.

Sarah Schwartz
Associate Editor
Education Week

Schwartz is a reporter for Education Week who covers the teaching profession and classroom practice. Before joining the staff, she was an Education Week intern, covering education technology. She has also worked at a middle school in East Harlem, New York. Schwartz holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University.

Matt Warnock
Barbara Bush Middle Schools, Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District, Texas

Warnock has served as the principal of Barbara Bush Middle School for the past 9 years. He is a passionate educator with over 20 years of experience dedicated to equity in education and changing all lives for the better.

Robyn Williams
Personalized Learning Lead
Eagle’s Landing High School
Henry County, Ga.

Williams is completing her first year as the personalized learning lead (PLL) at Eagle’s Landing High School in Henry County, Georgia. Before transitioning to PLL, she spent two years as a science teacher and advisory member of the personalized learning team at Dutchtown High School. She has worked to help these two schools launch, monitor, and iterate personalized learning plans in a district-wide effort to increase student achievement by way of increased student agency, technology enabled instruction and learning, and 21st century-skills based learning experiences.

Would you like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities?

Sponsored by:   Microsoft    NewSchools      ISTE