Work from Home Strategies

Karen Fuller, Director Infrastructure Communications, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD
Bryon Kolbeck, Chief Technology Officer, Lewisville ISD
Dianne Borreson, Chief Technology Officer, Hays CISD
Alice Owen, Executive Director, Texas K-12 CTO Council (moderator)

This panel of technology experts will discuss how they took their districts from office work to remote work overnight during the pandemic. They will discuss good practices and tools for working from home to be able to continue to collaborate with colleagues. They will also give good tips on maintaining work/life balance during these stressful times.

Implementing a Collaboration System to Support At-Home Learning: Responding, Operating, and Innovating

Bryon Kolbeck, Chief Technology Officer, Lewisville ISD
Michele Jacobsen, Director, Digital Learning, Lewisville ISD
Michael Griffin, Collaboration and IoT Practice Manager, Netsync Network Solutions

Lewisville ISD will share how they implemented Cisco WebEx’s platform to implement a phased response to COVID-19. This will include tools for calling, collaboration, and meeting tools to support at-home learning. Insights will be shared related to how the solution addresses at-home learning challenges, the benefits for students, parents, and staff, and what the district has done to operationalize the use of the platform beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bridging the Digital Divide during a Pandemic

Shad McGaha, Chief Technology Officer, Wichita Falls ISD
Kevin Schwartz, Chief Technology Officer, Austin ISD
Steve Wentz, Retired CTO

COVID-19 exposed great inequities in our educational system with many students not having equal access to at-home devices or broadband internet access. Learn from a panel of technology experts on various ways districts dealt with the digital divide during the pandemic. Hear some of their future plans of new ideas to provide more equitable access for all students.

Using Technology to Re-Open Schools during the Pandemic

Leslie Garakani, Chief Technology, Midlothian ISD
Courtney Carpenter, Interim Superintendent, Midlothian ISD

Paula Ross, Technology Manager, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD
Barbara Brown, Sr. Director of Technology, Prestonwood Christian Academy

There were many moving parts to get schools reopened after the shutdown. Learn from a panel of technology experts on what their districts did to make the opening as smooth and safe as possible. The panel will discuss how their districts created task force groups that planned strategically and used technology to facilitate the reopening. Participants will have time to interact with the panel and hear about their lessons learned.

Supporting Remote Learning and Working during the Pandemic

Leslie Garakani, Chief Technology Officer, Midlothian ISD
Becky Cook, Director, Instructional Technology, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD

This moderated panel discussion will explore the lessons learned while supporting staff and students during this pandemic. Discussions will cover best practices for device management, network support, and best instructional practices for online teaching and learning.