School & District Management

Broader Role Outlined for District Ed-Tech Leaders

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — December 01, 2009 2 min read

Reflecting the expanding responsibilities of technology directors and heightened demand for schools to build students’ 21st-century skills, the Consortium for School Networking has updated its framework detailing how chief technology officers, or CTOs, can become educational leaders in their districts.

The revised “Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 Chief Technology Officer,” released last week, comes as education leaders are increasingly looking to digital tools to improve teaching and learning. The new document by the Washington-based consortium, known as CoSN, outlines recommendations for professional development for chief technology officers and could eventually provide the basis for certification for those in the field, consortium officials write in the introduction to the framework.

“In most school districts, technology is not evaluated from an enterprise perspective in terms of improving and innovating learning,” the document states. “CoSN believes we must equip district technology leaders to create compelling learning environments and empower them with the range of skills and abilities needed to position them as educational leaders—not just technology leaders—that provide the vision for the role technology can play in innovation.”

An updated blueprint for district technology directors aims to increase their effectiveness as educational leaders.

TechLeaders C1s

Source: Consortium for School Networking

CoSN developed its initial framework in 2001. The latest update was developed by a task force and a certification committee to reflect the evolving role of technology experts in school districts, according to Keith R. Krueger, CoSN’s CEO.

“As the role of technology in education has progressed from a supplemental component of the educational environment to an essential, critical element, so too have the responsibilities of district-level technology leaders changed,” the new framework states. “These leaders are now responsible for technology that is increasingly complex, greater in number and scope, and ever more integrated into the daily instructional and administrative routines of today’s school districts.”

Necessary Skills

The document highlights four sets of skills deemed necessary for effective ed-tech leaders. The four categories are leadership and vision, which includes strategic planning and policy development; understanding of the educational environment, including the district’s instructional focus and professional-development needs; management of technology and support resources, which addresses the business side of educational technology and the use of data; and core values and skills, which include being flexible and adaptable, results-oriented, and innovative.

The document can be used to help make the case to administrators for viewing technology directors as part of school districts’ academic leadership, said Bailey F. Mitchell, the chief of technology and information for the 32,000-student Forsyth County, Ga., district and a co-chair of the framework task force.

“I’ve used the framework as a way to open up discussions with my superintendent about the role I could play in his work to reach district goals,” he said. “It’s a great way to segue into conversation about what your role should be or could be, as opposed to what are often the perceptions of technology directors as being more operational and not necessarily being strategic.”

A version of this article appeared in the December 09, 2009 edition of Education Week as Framework Outlines Broader District Role for Ed-Tech Leaders

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Recruiting and Retaining a More Diverse Teaching Workforce
We discuss the importance of workforce diversity and learn strategies to recruit and retain teachers from diverse backgrounds.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District
Elementary Principal
Washington State
Wenatchee School District
Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District
Elementary Principal
Washington State
Wenatchee School District

Read Next

School & District Management San Francisco School Board Pauses Renaming 44 Schools, Promises to Consult Historians
The renaming of 44 schools in the San Francisco Unified School District is apparently being put on hold after intense blowback.
Greg Keraghosian
1 min read
A pedestrian walks below a sign for Dianne Feinstein Elementary School in San Francisco, on Dec. 17, 2020. The San Francisco Unified School District put the renaming of 44 schools, including Dianne Feinstein Elementary School, on hold after local and national blowback.
A pedestrian walks below a sign for Dianne Feinstein Elementary School in San Francisco, on Dec. 17, 2020. The San Francisco Unified School District put the renaming of 44 schools, including Dianne Feinstein Elementary School, on hold after local and national blowback.<br/><br/>
Jeff Chiu/AP
School & District Management Superintendent Who Led During COVID-19 School Shutdowns Gets Top Honors
Michelle Reid of Washington state's Northshore district, one of the very first to close schools last March, was named National Superintendent of the Year.
3 min read
Michelle Reid, superintendent of the Northshore district in Washington
Michelle Reid, the superintendent of the Northshore district in Washington, was named National Superintendent of the Year.
courtesy of AASA, the School Superintendents Association
School & District Management Is Lunchtime the 'Weak Link' in School Reopening Plans?
It's risky when students are inside and unmasked, experts say. Here are five ways to mitigate that risk and make in-school meals safer.
11 min read
Elementary students in Brownsville, Texas, eat a socially distanced lunch in the school cafeteria. Experts say there are ways to mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19 even when kids take their masks off to eat.
Elementary students in Brownsville, Texas, eat a socially distanced lunch in the school cafeteria. Experts say there are ways to mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19 when kids take their masks off to eat.
Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald via AP
School & District Management Los Angeles Unified Shrinks Police Budget. Money Will Support Black Student Achievement
The board overseeing the Los Angeles Unified School District has cut $25 million from the budget for school police and will use the money to help fund an achievement plan for Black students.
1 min read
Demonstrators holds signs during a protest to demand the defunding of the Los Angeles school district police outside of the school board headquarters on June 23, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Demonstrators holds signs during a protest to demand the defunding of the Los Angeles school district police outside of the school board headquarters on June 23, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP