LAUSD Instructional Technology Initiative Task Force to Resume in New School Year

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 31, 2015) – The Los Angeles Unified School District announced today that the Instructional Technology Initiative Task Force is getting a new chairperson. Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines appointed Dr. Frances Marie Gipson to lead the task force while continuing to serve as superintendent for L.A. Unified’s Local District East.

Superintendent Cortines will chair the first task force meeting for the 2015-16 school year, which will be held from 4 – 6 p.m. on September 10 at Los Angeles School of Global Studies. Then, he will turn it over to Dr. Gipson. She will take over for former chairperson Dr. Judy Burton, who has decided to step down.

“I want to thank Dr. Burton for giving her time to propel this incredibly important work forward,” Superintendent Cortines said. “She is truly an outstanding individual who does so much for the students of Los Angeles and surrounding areas.”

He continued, “I am pleased she will be passing the torch to Dr. Gipson, who is experienced as a teacher, a scholar, and, most importantly, a leader.”

The task force – which includes principals, teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community members from local organizations, colleges and businesses – was assembled last year at the request of Superintendent Cortines to provide a strategic direction for leveraging technology to enhance instructional practice in the District.

“The Instructional Technology Initiative starts first and foremost with instruction,” Dr. Gipson said. “It is about closing the digital divide and focusing on the interactions in the instructional core: teacher, student, and learning tool.

“Our goal is to prepare every student for the jobs of the future,” she added. “Technology enhances the fundamentals of our practice through differentiation, personalization, and the cognitive capital that can be developed with teachers working hand-in-hand with modern instructional tools. I am thrilled to be playing a part in something that will shape the future of teaching and learning for students and adults alike.”

Bill Wherritt, who was appointed by Superintendent Cortines to manage device deployment, will also serve on the task force. Wherritt is supporting the instructional goals set by Dr. Gipson and the task force by managing operations and infrastructure, including device distribution, repair, and replacement. He is overseeing the distribution of the 70,000 student devices – including Windows laptops, Google Chromebooks, and Apple iPads – to one-to-one schools, as well as another 80,000 purchased for online testing, and another 80,000 purchased by schools independently.

The task force was established to provide recommendations for a three-year strategic plan to guide instructional technology integration throughout the District. Recommendations will be reviewed and synthesized into a formal draft, which will be submitted to Superintendent Cortines. After his review, the plan will be formally presented to the Board of Education.

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Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766