In addition to the rich diversity of work that the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) already engages in — from construction and transportation to digitizing services for Connecticut residents — the agency also works closely with the Office of the Governor, the State Department of Education, and others to support learning for residents of all ages.
This past year has proved just how critical access to digital learning tools can be, particularly for our most at-risk communities. Now more than ever, we know that educators are one of the most integral parts of the discussion when it comes to how students learn, which is why we proposed House Bill 6573.
The proposed legislative changes reinstate four appointed positions to the Connecticut Commission for Educational Technology, one each from the Connecticut Association for Public School Superintendents, the Connecticut Educators Computer Association, an elementary school teacher appointed by the American Federation of Teachers–Connecticut, and a secondary school teacher appointed by the Connecticut Education Association. Restoring these positions will help equip the Commission to meet critical education technology needs and goals, particularly the challenges of online learning both in the classroom and at home.
The Connecticut Commission for Educational Technology is a DAS body chaired by our State’s Chief Information Officer, Mark Raymond, and comprised of 20 members from other agencies and leadership organizations. The Commission acts as the State lead organization to plan, coordinate, and oversee the successful integration of technology in Connecticut's schools, libraries, colleges, and universities. Bringing educators back into the mix will ensure that this Commission continues to have representation from a diverse group of committed public servants who have already helped accomplish so much during this critical time.
This past year, the Commission played a pivotal role in supporting schools’ shift to remote learning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Commission members, in partnership with other agencies, helped ensure that students had a computer and internet connection to engage in learning when schools closed or shifted to hybrid learning models. Through Governor Lamont’s Everybody Learns Initiative and work through the Partnership for Connecticut, more than 140,000 computers were delivered to students who needed them.
The Commission began 20 years ago and soon thereafter launched the Connecticut Education Network (CEN) to provide broadband connections and cyber protections to the state’s schools, libraries, towns, colleges, and State agencies. For more information about the Commission, CEN, and the statewide plan for educational technology, visit www.CT.gov/EdTech.