Indiana digital learning champion named SETDA state leader of the year


A former elementary school teacher who helped advance the use of digital media in the state of Indiana was named “State Leader of the Year” by a national trade group.

Candice Dodson, Director of e-Learning for the Indiana Department of Education, was named the 2016 recipient of the SETDA State Leader of the Year Award, awarded by the State Education Technology Directors Association during a national leadership summit held this week in National Harbor, Maryland.

“Candice is a tireless leader both for Indiana and for SETDA,” said Tracy Weeks, executive director of SETDA. “This includes traveling across her state to deliver the Summer of E-Learning professional development to Indiana educators and advocating for access to e-learning with state policy makers,” Weeks said.

“Candice…has touched all of us with spirit, kindness and out-of-the-box thinking. She is a fearless advocate for education who gets involved, speaks up, and enthusiastically shares innovative ways to collaborate at all levels,” said SETDA board member and previous SLY Award winner, Peter Drescher, education technology coordinator, Vermont Agency of Education.

Over the past 20 years, Dodson has served as a teacher, media specialist, curriculum and technology integration specialist, central office administrator and as an assistant principal. She played leading roles in implementing a 6-12th grade one-to-one initiative, developing leadership programs for district administrators and expanded professional development programs for state districts.

As Indiana’s director of eLearning, she currently leads digital learning initiatives across the state of Indiana that have served as models for other states, including the Summer of eLearning conferences, Admin Academies and Digital Learning Grants, according to SETDA colleagues.

SETDA officials noted Dodson’s strong understanding of technology integration has laid the groundwork for baseline standards and expectations at the state level. Dodson currently serves as the 2016-2017 board chair of SETDA.