SOURCE: Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

October 04, 2011 11:03 ET

The Realities of Reinvention: Creating an Innovative Technology Education K-12 Presented by Illinois Technology Association & Pocket Literacy Coach, Affiliate Event of Chicago Ideas Week

Panel of Experts Address the 'How' of Technology Integration in Schools

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Oct 4, 2011) - The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) has partnered with Dr. Chris Drew, Professor and Founder of Pocket Literacy Coach, to present a panel of education and technology leaders in an in-depth participative discussion addressing actionable steps to integrate technology into the K-12 classroom.

The panel will answer the question: How do we integrate technology successfully into the school curriculum? The discussion will produce a document that offers solutions for executing innovation in Chicago schools.

The topic of technology in education has been the focus of NBC's Education Nation, which featured the Job One panel. This panel focused on the disconnect between skills needed in the 21st century labor force that business leaders are urgently seeking in candidates and the skills that students are being taught in school, and the related gap.

The MacArthur Foundation and the Pearson Foundation hosted an event, Re-Imagining Learning that showcased the Digital Youth Network, YouMedia and other established hi-tech programs, schools and curricula.

This panel will bridge these two conversations and focus on how teachers, principals, education leaders and others can create the type of curricula featured in the Re-Imagining Learning panel that build the type of skills discussed in the Job One panel.

"A strong technology education, integrated into the curriculum, is critical to the future competitiveness of these students and our country," said Terry Howerton, Chairman of the Illinois Technology Association, and co-founder/Chairman of the Chicago Tech Academy high school (ChiTech). "A technology aptitude is critical as students enter and lead the next generation work place, not just as users of technology, but developers of future advancements."

The panel includes:
Ryan Blitstein - Executive Director, SCE
Dr. Chris Drew - CEO, Pocket Literacy Coach
Pam Cray - Director, Education Services, Integrated Education Strategies & Inaugural Academic Administrator, Chicago Virtual Charter School, CPS
April Goble - Executive Director, Chicago Area KIPP Schools
Terry Howerton - Co-Founder & Chairman, Chicago Tech Academy
Dr. Glenn "Max" McGee - President, Illinois Math & Science Academy
Brenda Wilkerson - IT program manager for Chicago Public

"This panel of experts in education and technology has answered the 'how' in various aspects of curriculum development. Through their experiences, and collective expertise, we will develop a roadmap for other schools to follow... and improve upon," said Dr. Chris Drew. "We look forward to a productive and thought-provoking discussion."

The "Realities of Education Reinvention: Creating an Innovative Tech Education K-12" will be held on October 12, 2011, 2pm to 5pm, at TechNexus, 200 S. Wacker Drive. Register to attend this important discussion, and help generate solutions. Space is limited.

About the ITA
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is a driving force behind the growth of Illinois' vibrant technology industry. We are relentless in championing the development and application of technology, from start-up companies to industry leaders, leveraging the transformative nature of technology to revolutionize industries. ITA uniquely capitalizes peer-to-peer collaboration, networking, and access to experts across the breadth of business to cultivate the Illinois technology industry. The unique and powerful integration of these valuable and experienced resources differentiates the ITA as a source of accelerated growth for the technology industry of Illinois. For more information about ITA, please visit

Contact the ITA at, follow the discussion on Twitter at @itabuzz, and visit to find out more about how ITA supports the growth of the local industry.

About Pocket Literacy Coach
Pocket Literacy Coach (PLC) is a parent support organization that reaches parents via their mobile device with educational activities for parents to use to build specific literacy and learning skills with their children at home. The PLC mobile curriculum is research-based and has been developed over the course of several years by a team of education experts. A large and continually growing body of research proves that parent involvement is essential to healthy, vibrant, successful schools and, most importantly, to student success. And supporting parents to be involved is crucial to student improvement and to positive school change. PLC is the only mobile content provider that is proven to support parents in ways that will help children succeed. PLC is leading the way in mobile innovation when it comes to supporting schools to connect with their parents and increasing parent involvement. For more information about PLC, please visit

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