California Educational Data Processing Association
The DataBus - Vol. 37, No. 5
August-September, 1997

Conference Theme and Program

Sacramento: "Educating Ourselves For A Change" is the theme of 37th annual event.

Russ Brawn, WestEd

In our upcoming Annual Conference, which will be the 37th held by CEDPA, we're "Educating Ourselves For A Change." Perhaps, one may be tempted to say "It's about time", and indeed it is. Whether as data practitioners or information technologists, in this past 37 years we've each been faced with change so great that it defies categorization. Only those professions similarly interwoven with the meteoric growth of computer processing capacities and enabling technologies have faced so great a change. Aviation, space exploration, medical diagnosis and procedures come easily to mind--and now, education.

Imagine that it's the year 2000. Where would a casual traveler of this country look if she/he was hoping to find the most pervasive and sophisticated network in any burgh, township, or city encountered? Best guess is the public school system. How many of us would have thought that 10 years ago?

Only a short time ago, very little K-12 computing was directed to the "product" of our "business." We made heroic efforts in effecting support systems for finance, purchasing, human resources and student administration. We're learning though, education technologists are striving to make up lost time in impacting learning through computer and information technologies.

So it is time to educate ourselves for more and continued change. Take these few days at the end of October to see how your colleagues are accommodating change now. What are their plans for the future? How are our private sector suppliers and partners focusing their efforts to support our evolving needs. Indeed, how are they changing? What of our public agencies? What efforts are underway to help them and us to embrace change? To measure or account for change?

Your CEDPA Directors have followed recent form in creating a forum to address these issues. Once again the conference will take place from Wednesday, October 29 through mid day on Friday, October 31 (Happy Halloween!). Optional pre-conference activities will take place on Tuesday. Our featured speakers are drawn from throughout the country, headlined this year by our invited keynote speaker, Dr. Linda Roberts, Director of Educational Technology for the US Department of Education. Dr. Roberts's leadership efforts include creating affordable access to the Information Superhighway for schools and libraries, and mobilizing state, local and private and non-profit efforts to wire our schools, upgrade the base of hardware in classrooms, train teachers, and create effective products and services that transform teaching and learning.

Sandra Tiffany is a member of the Nevada Assembly representing portions of Clark County, the home of the fastest growing school district in the United States. Assemblywoman Tiffany will be our luncheon speaker, advising practitioners to be cognizant of the needs of policy makers -- what must you do to gain adequate funding? Kent Keel, Executive Director, Information Technology for the Kent (Washington) School District, will provide his "in the trenches with us" perspectives at the closing address.

On Wednesday, both colleagues and private vendors will conduct breakout sessions within subject tracks of 'Technical Focus', 'Support Issues', 'EdTech / IS', and 'Private Sector Partners'. Again both vendors and colleagues will serve in panel discussions on Thursday and Friday, seeking active interaction from attendees. Our popular Internet display room will run for the length of the conference. This year's Thursday vendor exhibit show will rival any that you've attended. Plus, you're going to love the give-aways!

Lastly, think of this. You've spent another year training and helping your students, parents, administration, board and other users. It' s time to take a few days for more personal focus -- educate yourself for a change.

Me? Worry about Fashion?

In response to those who've asked (and those to whom the question has not yet occurred) appropriate conference attire might best be described as 'business casual'. Think of the traditional, or more usual CEDPA Conferences of past years, forgetting for now last year's 'dress down' emphasis in Palm Springs. Once again, our CEDPA President will be forced to wear long pants. Of course, bring some of your favorite party clothes for the hospitality times or for getting out and about in Sacramento.

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