1 of 3 school districts in America: Lakota wins national award for digital learning

For the first time in its history, Lakota Schools has won the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) award for its innovation in digital learning. Lakota is one of three school districts nationwide to win the honor for 2020. (File Photo\Journal-News)
For the first time in its history, Lakota Schools has won the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) award for its innovation in digital learning. Lakota is one of three school districts nationwide to win the honor for 2020. (File Photo\Journal-News)

An international education technology group has awarded Lakota Schools as one of only three districts in America to win its top annual awards.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has chosen Lakota for its 2020 Distinguished District Award, citing the school district’s historic advancements of incorporating digital learning into and outside of its classrooms.

It is Lakota’s first time winning such an honor. And it’s the second time in two years a Butler County school system has won top acclaim from ISTE.

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“We live in a digital world, so a big part of preparing our students for what awaits them after graduation is giving them access to those tools and experiences,” said Lakota Superintendent Matt Miller. “We are grateful for the ongoing support and guidance from our partners at ISTE and appreciate this formal recognition of all of our efforts.”

The Washington D.C.-based ISTE serves more than 200,000 educators and education leaders around the world, providing resources and support to organizations that are committed to using technology to overcome challenges in education.

ISTE’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Culatta in a letter to Miller: “Lakota Local Schools is an exceptional school district that clearly embodies each of these traits. Thank you for all that you do to advance teaching and learning, and congratulations again on this special award.”

Lakota’s partnership with ISTE has grown over the last few years and the district became one of just eight districts worldwide to pilot ISTE’s “District Partnership” program during the 2018-2019 school year.

According to ISTE, “the winning districts demonstrate effectiveness and innovation in the application of educational technology. They ensure equitable, accessible and appropriate technology use for all students, aimed at improving learner outcomes and increasing learning opportunities.”

In 2019, Middletown Schools won the same ISTE award, spurred largely by Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr.'s reform efforts to modernize that city school system.

ExploreMiddletown schools 1 of 3 districts nationally to win tech award

Lakota Schools was one of the first in the region to provide free laptops to its 7-12 students.

Lakota’s Chief Technology Officer, Todd Wesley, said the ISTE award “belongs to the entire Lakota family.”

“Seven years ago, our community supported our levy plan to bring the best in education technology together with instructional innovation based on the ISTE standards,” said Wesley.

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