STATE OF OPPORTUNITY. Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?
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Is there a digital divide in education? Come debate with us at Issues & Ale!

JD Hancock

Michigan Radio brings its monthly Issues & Alepanel discussion to Grand Rapids' Founders Brewery on Wednesday, March 12 from 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

We're asking you about closing the digital divide in education. Do all kids have the access to classroom technologies that they need to be digitally literate and tech-ready?

Our Issues & Ale event kicks off the annual Michigan Association of Computers in Learning (MACUL) conference in Grand Rapids. Get ready for lots of nerds, G.R. – 2,000-4,000 educators interested in technology will descend on the city. They'll be trading information on helping students get ready for online testing, figuring out online learning options for kids in public schools and academies, getting some hands-on time with educational technologies, and debating issues related to technology and school policies. 

State of Opportunity is allowed to call them "nerds" because we're nerds for tech, too. But we also know that with everything technology offers us in terms of convenience and education, there are inequalities. We want to hear what you – teachers, parents, policymakers, and educational technologists – have to say about what schools can do to close the digital divide. How can we make access to classroom technology more equitable to kids with different physical and learning capabilities?

Here are the educational technologists we have lined up for you:

Dr. Anne Thorp is a 20-year veteran teacher, technology mentor, and professional development specialist with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District. As a technology teacher trainer and coach, she was named the MACUL Outstanding Technology Using Educator in 2013.

Kim Dabbs  is executive director of West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology (WMCAT). Leveraging her respected position as a leader in education and design thinking, Kim advances WMCAT's mission to provide a culture of opportunity for people to make social and economic progress in their lives and community.

Hilary Goldmann is an educational technology advocate and senior director of government relations at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), with more than 20 years of experience working in the public policy and advocacy arena. 

State of Opportunity's Dustin Dwyer will moderate the panel and field your questions and comments. RSVP on our Facebook page, or just show up at the Centennial Room of Founders Brewery this Wednesday. We look forward to hearing what you have to say.