IGNITE Session

A Profile of Technologically Proficient New Jersey High School Students

General Session IV
Fri. 10:30am-11:15am

Have you ever wondered what graduates entering your institutions can and should know in relation to the NJ Student Learning Standards for Technology (NJSLS 8)? What should you expect? The students graduating from high school should demonstrate technology-based skills that empower them through life as learners and producers of knowledge. This session will provide information about the learning skills profile you can expect for students who graduate as technologically proficient as defined by NJSLS 8-Technology.

Laurence Cocco

Linda Carmonda-Bell

Laurence Cocco is the Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) with the responsibility of supervising all federal and state educational technology initiatives for the state. Recent accomplishments include: The 2015 implementation of the revised NJ Core Curriculum Content Standard 8, Technology, which includes for the first time a Computational Thinking Strand.  The creation of an interactive digital learning readiness database and reporting system, NJTRAx Digital Learning (NJTRAx DL), which gives districts and schools the ability to track and strategically plan for the implementation of digital learning policies and practices.  The creation of a statewide broadband cooperative purchasing initiative for NJ schools.  The project has so far rendered an estimate $89 million in savings while simultaneously increasing total school bandwidth by 150%, resulting in better reliability and enhanced functionality for digital learning.  In 2014, he was recognized the State Leader of the Year by the State Educational Technology Directors Association – http://www.wnet.org/education/news/meet-larry-cocco-setda-state-leader-of-the-year/. Besides serving on the Thirteen/WNET Educational Services Advisory Committee (http://www.wnet.org/), Laurence is also on the Board of Directors for the State Educational Technology Directors Association (www.setda.org).   He has a M.A. in Educational Communication & Technology from NYU, and is an Ed Tech and lifelong learning evangelist, looking to transform learning strategies through the incorporation of emerging technologies and brain-based learning theory.

Linda Carmona-Bell has been employed for 26 years by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) where she currently serves as an educational technology specialist.  She has a BS degree in Computer Science from Pace University in NY, and an MA degree in Bilingual/Bicultural Education from LaSalle University in PA.  Prior to working at the NJDOE, she worked in the private sector as a computer programmer, database manager, and systems analyst.  Her experience in teaching began at the Essex County Vocational Schools, and as an adjunct professor at Essex County College where she taught Computer Technology.  Linda’s history with the Department of Education includes working in the areas of vocational education, bilingual education, and now, educational technology.  She has spent her career at the NJDOE assisting school districts in all aspects of implementing educational programs including developing and managing data collections, planning and evaluating program practices in the classroom, writing Notice of Grant Opportunities and designing programs to affect instructional change.  She has assisted in the development of the regional assistive technology centers in NJ, and assists educators in understanding the Universal Design for Learning framework in the curriculum and its implementation in the classroom.