When did your organization launch and why?
The Learning Technology Center launched in 1995 with the purpose of building statewide capacity for educational change through technology-related professional learning, programs, initiatives, and support for all K-12 school districts in Illinois.
What does your organization do? What are its main goals? Main projects?
The Learning Technology Center initiatives focus on seven critical areas: digital learning support, technical support, professional learning, purchasing, connectivity, data and cybersecurity, and community engagement. Each focus area has high-impact programs and initiatives that seek to develop leadership and technical capacity for transformative learning.
What makes your organization stand out? What would you say is the most unique thing about your organization?
The Learning Technology Center is an organization with representation across the entire state of Illinois. Each employee brings a specific set of skills to their position; from former marketing positions, classroom teachers and coaches to adjunct professors we are able to address educational technology initiatives through multiple lenses. We work remotely yet connect and collaborate daily.
What are recent projects or new resources that your organization would like to share with other NAMLE members?
The Learning Technology Center maintains online communities to connect educators across Illinois and beyond. We offer online courses and webinars as well as in-person professional development to meet learners where they are. We strive to create guides that help inform educators of important educational technology topics. For example, our Legal Reference Guide for Laws Affecting Technology in Education.
What are the connections between the work of your organization and media literacy?
As advocates for the appropriate use of technology in education, we have a responsibility to help educators understand the importance of media literacy. In workshops, webinars, conversations and more we continue to express the importance of media literacy to our educators and try to provide pathways for them to introduce the concept to students.
Why is media literacy important to your organization?
The world we live in is becoming more complex, creative and open beyond our immediate surroundings. Our students no longer need us to learn, but they need us to help them navigate and interpret what they find. With continued awareness, we can provide students and educators with the toolset they need to navigate the web with dignity, respect, and awareness.
Anything else you want our readers to know about your organization, your mission, or your staff?
The Learning Technology Center staff brings with it more than 178 years of experience in the field of education. We use our various backgrounds to advocate for the effective use of technology in education and have a true passion for the field. We are looking forward to helping spread the work of NAMLE.