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Tosa superintendent to meet with President Obama on classroom technology

Wauwatosa School District Superintendent Dr. Phil Ertl will meet with President Obama in Washington, D.C. this week.  Ertl joins superintendents from across the nation, highlighting how Tosa Schools have excelled at incorporating technology in the classroom.

That technology is on display in places like Beth Kimmel's 5th grade classroom at Washington Elementary.  There you find Google Chromebooks right along side textbooks.

\"I'm on my one device,\" Kimmel said.  \"I can see all 21 of my students as opposed to walking around and not being able to see everybody.\"

The 10-year teaching veteran watched technology quickly become a valuable tool, one she can use almost on a daily basis.

\"I can really work with each of them individually,\" Kimmel said.

But not that long ago, touch screen laptops and high speed internet weren't nearly as available in Wauwatosa.  According to Dr. Ertl, many teachers saw technology as an \"afterthought.\"

\"I think people get it [now],\" Dr. Ertl said.  \"I think the students are coming and they engage much better with technology.\"

Which is why Dr. Ertl will represent Wauwatosa and much of Wisconsin -- Fall Creek Superintendent Dr. Joe Sanfelippo will also go -- at the White House Wednesday. The ConnectED Summit will bring districts together from across the nation and allow Ertl to share ideas about how to use technology in the classroom.

\"I don't think it's 'Why me,'\" Ertl said.  \"I think it's 'Why Wauwatosa?'  And I think it comes down to the work our staff does.\"

That includes providing WiFi access in every building, finding and using grants to buy new equipment and training teachers.

\"We're not pushing it on them and forcing them to use technology,\" District Technology Coordinator Jamie Price said. \"But we rely on them as professionals to be able to when technology can bring benefit to them and their students.\"

Benefits kids in Wauwatosa are already seeing and ones Dr. Ertl hopes to share with students across the nation.

\"No matter what zip code you live in that kids are getting that quality education and connectivity and technology and financial differences need to be put aside,\" Ertl said.

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