State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced June 11 that the Arizona Department of Education is forming a technology task force to address the "variety of technology needs" schools and students have, according to a news release. Access to technology and a technology divide were made apparent when schools across the state—and across the country—moved to an online method of learning due to the coronavirus this spring.

The group is comprised of public and private institutions, including Intel, across the state as well as education stakeholders, including a district representative from Gilbert Public Schools, according to the release. The task force will work to find innovative solutions to address the digital divide across the state and will work to support education technology and computer science standards across the state.

“Access to technology and broadband internet is an issue of educational equity,” Hoffman said in a news release. “These challenges existed prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic exposed the critical need to connect hundreds of thousands of students and their families to technology. I look forward to working with the leaders on our task force as we find ways to bridge the digital divide in Arizona.”

Arizona Department of Education Technology Task Force:

  • Shawnae Holguin: lead of IT team, Baboquivari USD

  • Mary Knight: director of technology, Flagstaff USD

  • Brian Nelson: ASU, Mary Lou Fulton College

  • Jon Castelhano: executive director of technology, Gilbert Public Schools

  • Alex Lopez: director of technology, Nogales USD

  • Stephanie Parra: All In Education

  • Tracey Beal: School Connect

  • Rachael Parks: director of technology, Leona Group

  • Gail Knight: Balsz School District Governing Board

  • Stan Goligoski: Yavapai County Education Service Agency

  • Amber Akapnitis: AZ School for the Deaf and Blind

  • Mark Breen: director of technology, Vail School District

  • Renee E. Levin: Intel

  • Jeremy Babendure: AZ SciTech

  • RJ Muller: Cox Communications

  • Janice Palmer: Helios Education Foundation

  • Ilana Lowry: Common Sense Media

  • Matt Pittinsky: Parchment.com

  • Jaime Casap: Google

  • Daisy Murillo: student representative

  • Dr. Traci Morris: director of the American Indian Policy Institute at ASU

  • Tom Osmun: Dell Technologies

  • Kari Lipman: Insight

  • John Kelly: Triadvocates

  • Matthew Clark: Verizon

  • Betsy Hargrove: superintendent, Avondale USD

  • Robert Koerperich: superintendent, Holbrook USD

  • Janice Mak: board member, AZ State Board of Education

  • Chad Gestson: superintendent, Phoenix Union High School District

  • Glenn Wike: Arizona Community Foundation

  • Jacqui Clay: Cochise County superintendent

  • Michelle Burke: software and app design, Lake Havasu High School