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Ed-Tech School Officials Draw Kudos From White House

By guest blogger Ben Kamisar

President Obama has publicly praised 10 officials from schools, colleges, and other institutions for their efforts to use digital tools to bolster student learning.

The acolades were presented recently as part of "Champions for Change," a program in which the Obama administration invites a different group, across a variety of fields, to the White House each week to celebrate their accomplishments.

Obama, in an event at the White House last week, credited the K-12 officials and other honorees with using technology "to support one of our country's top priorities, and that's preparing our kids and our workers for the competition that they're going to face in a 21st century global economy."

In his remarks, Obama touted the accomplishments of local tech experts like Mark Coppin, the director of assistive technology at the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown, North Dakota. At the care facility for the intellectually disabled, Coppin uses educational apps as a way to stimulate learning in children with autism.   

Another honoree, Todd Nesloney, a 5th grade teacher at Fields Store Elementary in Waller, Texas, wrote about the event on his personal blog. Nesloney, who was cited for his work as an advocate for flipped learning, describing receiving the honor as "surreal."

"I teach in a tiny town in Texas," he wrote. "Yet now, because of my work with kids, or more importantly because of my incredible students, I was sitting in a room with the most powerful man arguably in the WORLD." 

The president also used the White House event to offer a sales pitch for his ConnectEd program, the administration's blueprint, announced in June, which includes a plan for overhauling the federal E-rate program and expanding schools' and libraries' access to high-speed Internet.


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