Date:January 15, 2019

Pioneer iPad School Head, Innovator Leads ‘Watershed’ Tech Focus at Global Christian School Leadership Summit

Private Christian schools gathering in San Antonio, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, will address how to harness technology, innovate and other hot-button issues facing movement

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Forget the joke about Moses being the first person to download something onto a tablet—when it comes to using technology in schools, some faith-based educators have been quietly leading the way. And, now they want to share their successes and experiences broadly.

Monte Vista Christian School, in Watsonville, Calif., was the first school of any kind in the world to use iPads in the classroom, and has earned a reputation for innovative use of technology with students. Now, Head of School, Mitchell Salerno, will lead a special workshop on combining ancient truth with futuristic tools at the Global Christian School Leadership Summit (GCSLS, www.gcsls.org), Jan. 30-Feb. 1.

How to best use technology to help prepare tomorrow’s citizens will be one of the key issues being discussed at the three-daysummit, whose theme is “innovate.” At the conference, in San Antonio, participants will be invited to take part in an interactive, hands-on session led by Salerno in which they will use their own devices to develop new practices for their schools.

“Technology is not going away,” said Salerno. “The question for Christian schools is how can we leverage all these technological tools for the sake of redeeming education.”

Some 1,000 administrators, teachers and others from groups representing more than 25,000 Christian schools in 100-plus countries will meet in San Antonio for the second biennial GCSLS, the largest event of its kind. Attendees serve around six million students worldwide, with private Christian schools seeing significant growth in parts of Asia and Africa.

In addition to the workshop led by Salerno—who is also President of the Christian Coalition for Educational Innovation—the summit will feature presentations that look at the downside of technology, such as the negative influence it can have on young people.

“When it comes to technology, we are at a watershed moment in society,” said Lynn Swaner, GCSLS chairperson and chief strategy and innovation officer for the summit’s lead sponsor, the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI, www.acsi.org),

“Because of the technological advances that have taken place and will take place in the near future, we are facing very serious questions about what it means to be human, and the church—and by extension Christian schools—should have the answers that will help prepare students for the future,” she said.

Other hot-button issues to be addressed will include diversity and engaging the larger culture, as attendees consider how they may continue offering distinctive, faith-based education in an increasingly pluralistic and post-religious world.

“Education is facing tremendous change, and as believers we want to lead the way in providing answers to these important questions,” said Swaner. “That is why we are coming together, to learn from and encourage one another as we seek to further develop best practices anchored in biblical truth.”

GCSLS is co-sponsored by eight Christian school associations: Association of Christian Schools International, Christian Schools International, Council on Educational Standards and Accountability, National Christian School Association, Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools, Association of Christian Teachers and Schools, International Christian Accrediting Association, and Christian Schools Australia.

Registration for GCSLS 2019 is still available at https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/texas/grand-hyatt-san-antonio/satgh?corp_id=g-acsi.

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The biennial Global Christian Schools Leadership Summit (GCSLS) www.gcsls.org) to be held in San Antonio, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2019, is the foremost gathering of Christian education leaders worldwide. GCSLS is co-sponsored by eight Christian school associations: Association of Christian Schools International (www.acsi.org), Christian Schools International (www.csionline.org), Council on Educational Standards and Accountability (www.cesaschools.org), National Christian School Association (www.nationalchristian.org), Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools (www.sbacs.org), Association of Christian Teachers and Schools (www.actsschools.org), International Christian Accrediting Association (www.icaa.oruef.org) and Christian Schools Australia (www.csa.edu.au).

PHOTO CUTLINE: How to use technology effectively to help prepare students for the future will be one of the hot topics at the Global Christian Schools Leadership Summit in San Antonio, Jan. 30-Feb. 1.