Last week, I had the opportunity to attend and present at the District Administration Leadership Institute’s Superintendents Summit hosted in Tucson. This was my first DALI presentation, so I was really looking forward to the event, and I was not disappointed.

I was grateful to connect with so many superintendents, engaging in both casual chit-chat as well as deeper conversations surrounding the many issues they’ve encountered during the last 20 months. It was clear that most folks appreciated the chance to just interact in person, especially after the long periods of isolation due to the pandemic.

My talk on Friday sparked an engaging and introspective roundtable session. Centered on the idea that teaching technology skills must be an intentional endeavor – one that goes beyond merely the technology teacher or the technology classroom and truly integrates technology into all facets of learning so students deeply understand the tools – the presentation invited participants to consider their own instructional models for ensuring their students are future-ready. Seated together after the presentation, many superintendents shared that if they were being honest with themselves, they already have great pockets of technology instruction happening in their districts, but they are inspired to support a more comprehensive and intentional approach. We talked through the challenges – especially in light of the intense focus on reading and math skills after a year of virtual learning for many. But everyone agreed that technology skills and content mastery go hand-in-hand.

The organizers of DALI do a great job ensuring that participants have a good experience at the event. Between Thought Leadership presentations, hands-on learning activities, and roundtables, there are lots of opportunities to learn, brainstorm, discuss best practices, and overall, have fun! I attended each Thought Leadership presentation, which ranged in topic from addressing data needs to tackling mental health and social-emotional learning to managing complex budgets, all very timely in the world we’re currently living. There was truly something for everyone – including a fireside chat with Andre Agassi!

The time spent at DALI flew by, but I’m grateful for the many new connections made, and for rich conversations that I hope we will continue.

 

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