American Association of School Administrators and Lightspeed Systems Announce District Excellence Award for Digital Learning

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2011 District Excellence Award for Digital Learning will honor innovative district leaders promoting effective technology use to engage students today and prepare them for tomorrow

This award is an opportunity to recognize the leaders in this fast growing field—and to encourage other schools to move forward," said AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech.

Harnessing the power of technology to maximize teacher effectiveness and enhance student learning requires strong education leaders, a collaborative work environment, and exemplary instructional practices. The American Association of School Administrators(AASA) and Lightspeed Systems Inc. are sponsoring the 2011 District Excellence Award for Digital Learning to recognize the teamwork of administrators and district technology champions who demonstrate visionary leadership toward a dynamic, district-wide digital learning culture. The award program was announced today at the AASA Summer Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C., and is open to any K-12 public school district until Oct. 15, 2010.

The District Excellence Award for Digital Learning honors districts for excellence in promoting informed practices, productive collaborations, sustained improvement, and an evolving awareness of their responsibilities to ensure safe, equitable and ethical uses of learning technology. Three district winners will be selected and notified in December 2010, and later honored at the AASA National Conference in Denver, Feb. 17-19, 2011.

“Schools all across the country are working to harness the power of digital learning on behalf of their students,” said AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech. “This award is an opportunity to recognize the leaders in this fast growing field—and to encourage other schools to move forward.”

The first-place award winner will receive a November Learning Review by the November Learning team, providing the district with custom-designed best practice strategies for teaching and learning and a clearly defined, step-by-step guide for integrating and aligning technology across the curriculum. The district earning the second-place award will receive a Lightspeed Systems Web Access Manager subscription with product training for one school site chosen by the district. Lightspeed Systems will provide one conference registration for the 2011 Building Learning Communities Conference in Boston, three-nights lodging, and $500 for travel expenses to the third-place district.

“Every day, district IT staff members are advocating safe and effective technology use in schools to foster digital learning and support teachers and students,” said Lightspeed Systems CEO Joel Heinrichs. “We wanted to recognize their critical leadership role in education reform, as well as the collaborative work of innovative administrators and educators who are dedicated to helping students become responsible, productive citizens in the digital age.”

An independent judging panel selected by AASA will evaluate district entries on a portfolio that demonstrates excellence in digital learning. District portfolios can include examples of digital projects or presentations created by individuals or groups of students, teachers using technology in learner-centered activities, district-level employees and administrators using technology to mentor school-level staff, or digital collaboration at the district or administrative level. Technology may include, but is not limited to, desktop and laptop computing, handheld devices, GPS positioning tools, probeware, Web 2.0 applications, and digital cameras and video. Technology activities related to this award must have been implemented during the three prior academic years.

More information and application forms are available at http://www.aasa.org/LightspeedAward.aspx or http://www.lightspeedsystems.com/AASA-Award.aspx.

About AASA
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders across the United States. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit aasa.org.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems Inc., founded in 1999, develops comprehensive network security and management solutions for the K-12 education market. Lightspeed is committed to helping schools operate their networks effectively and efficiently, so educators can provide a safe online teaching and learning environment. The company’s flagship product integrates content filtering, spam management, bandwidth management, antivirus protection, extensive reporting capabilities, email archiving, and mobile filtering into a single application. Lightspeed Systems software is used in more than 2,000 school districts in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia to protect more than 6 million students. For the past three years, Lightspeed Systems has been recognized on the Inc. 5,000 list as one of fastest-growing private companies. For more information, call 661-716-7600, or visit lightspeedsystems.com.

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Kristen Plemon
C. Blohm & Associates
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