Luisa Cotto

Nonprofit professional | Engagement | Techie | Proactive Dynamic | Strategic

About Luisa Cotto

I remember the day that I decided that I wanted to be a teacher. I knew that my choice was not glamorous, but I started my career knowing that in order to change the education system, I needed to provide quality education to our youngest citizens so that they can have a better start in school and in life. While pursuing my master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology at the University of South Florida, I was hired as a literacy specialist for the Committee of Academic Excellence in Tampa. This job provided me with the opportunity to instill my passion for education to other early care and education professionals and maximize my reach. In 2010, I moved to Miami, Florida to work at United Way of Miami-Dade, an organization that stands for three things I am passionate about: Education, Financial Stability and Health. As United Way’s Director of Engagement, I connect our supporters and community at large to their passion and move them into action.

In 2014, I had a chance to write a chapter about how to engage the community at large in a book co-published by Routledge and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning was edited by Dr. Chip Donohue and has sold more than 430,000 copies on Amazon alone.

During my “free time,” I participate in Twitter chats, write blogs, enjoy wine and good food, read the news, catch up with my personal email and spend quality time with my husband.


Featured Publications and  Groups

Contributing author to Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning edited by Chip Donohue, Ph.D. (August 2014)

NAEYC Technology and Young Children Interest Forum

Global Leaders for Young Children at the World Forum on Early Care and Education (2014 – Present)

iMap BookResearch group, University of South Florida (2009-2011)

Featured Presentations

Featured Speaker at the NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo
Using Traditional and Emerging Technologies as Tools to Support Creativity with Brian Puerling (2015).

Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning – Conversations with contributing authors, 2014 NAEYC Annual Conference, Dallas, TX. with Chip Donohue, Erikson Institute; Kate Highfield, Macquarie University; Warren Buckleitner, Children’s Technology Review (2014).

Advocacy 101, PICA Head Start, Minneapolis, MN. Presented with Jessica Scher, director of public policy at United Way of Miami-Dade (2014).

Technology for classroom teachers, World Forum on Early Care and Education, Puerto Rico 2014. Presented along with Brian Puerling from United States and Shanali Vindya de Rose from New Zealand.

We are in this together: Quick tips to keep families, staff, and communities engaged, Start Kids Bright Webinar Series, United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, Early Childhood Investigations (2014).

Documentation and Assessment using the iPad, Early Learning Coalition of Broward County (2014)

Intentional and Appropriate use of  technology: Recommendations from the NAEYC/Fred Rogers Center Join Position Statement, Broward Early Childhood Educators Conference (2013)

The use of digital media to enhance children’s learning and documentation (Spanish), Comcast grant (2011-2014)

Literacy Enhancement for Early Readers: Playful literacy activities in preschool, NAEYC: Annual Conference (2012)

Tech on Deck! The use of pictures and video in the preschool classroom, NAEYC: Annual Conference (2012)

Creating Literacy-rich Classroom Environments, Community-wide trainings, United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education (2011)