Panel in Dallas, TX discusses their students, technology and academics

Event News
Doug Cauthen, Editor-in-Chief

Digital Transition Discussion Recap - Dallas, TX, Sept. 27 2018


The day started with a new Learning Counsel market briefing, and throughout the day there were workshops on data analytics, presentations by educators and vendors, wrapping up with a panel discussion. The panel consisted of:

Nestor Restrepo, Professional and Digital Director, Dallas ISD

Dr. Khechara Bradford, Assistant Superintendent Curriculum & Instruction, Fort Worth ISD

Mike Mattingly, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Denton ISD

The panelists shared knowledge with all attendees about their leadership. Key takeaways were:

“We have included a student voice into our work. Our students are brilliant, so we give them the mic at meetings and let them talk. They will tell you what’s wrong, what’s not working. That can be a huge motivator for embracing that change process” - Dr. Khechara Bradford

“The student voice is super powerful. To embrace change, the voice of the students is probably the most powerful one. We really need to hear what they have to say” – Nestor Restrepo

“We are really connecting technology and academics. It’s all-encompassing, not ‘when we have time,’ but that it’s meaningful and purposeful and that teachers really see it as a tool to accomplish those academic goals.” – Dr. Khechara Bradford

Mic Pass

Once the panel was concluded, the event moved into the final stage. The mic was passed around the room to the educators and they were asked to share what they got out of the event, what did they learn and what value did they get from what had been shared throughout the day.

Mike Mattingly, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction at Denton ISD had this to say, “We do have the vendors sharing and they are able to speak to us and visit with us at the table, so let's do the big round of applause for the Vendors. LeiLani and David work very hard to make this happen, but I know that it wouldn't happen without the sponsors, but more importantly, right now on my cellphone, I'm sure that I have about 25 vendors that emailed me that aren't even in this room but will communicate with me. So what this does for me, also, is give a little snapshot of variations of what they have to offer and I can start prioritizing who I need to talk to or who I may have interest in or who I need to refer to them or they need to be referred to in my district, which saves me hours and hours of valuable time so I can really spend that time, rather the spending an hour with each one of them and, then it was not a match and wasted their time as well as for me and as much as I would love to incorporate many of the solutions that they offer, the reality is I can't. I don't have the resources for that. So I have to be very, very careful and I turn away a lot of wonderful, wonderful products. It's just because I had to commit to certain things and I have to turn other things down. So my favorite thing is that we do have very deep conversation and we have a deep presentation of whatever that topic is this year. I'm glad that the topic changes, and what the topic is doing is moving us forward every single year. Last year we had a conversation and it went very deep into data analytics and for me, I thought ‘I really need to do a lot more studying’ because I think that sometimes I come to this event thinking I've got a fairly good handle and understanding and then I walk away feeling very challenged.”

Watch the highlights from the panel below and stay tuned for more event Recaps from the Learning Counsel’s tour of cities this Fall coming soon.