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Superintendents Get New Guidance on Technology Decisions

By guest blogger Michele Molnar

Superintendents confronted by tough technology decisions have a new toolkit designed to help them improve students' classroom experiences, teacher professional development, assessment, and other policies and practices.

The Consortium for School Networking (also known as CoSN) and AASA, the School Superintendents Association, collaborated on the toolkit and related resources, which are designed to help leaders conquer those tech issues that they say keep them up at night.

"The Empowered Superintendent: Professional Learning Module 1: Five Imperatives for Technology Leadership," includes two assessment checklists—one for superintendents and aspiring superintendents to evaluate themselves, and the other to assess the district's leadership team.

The authors focus on these five themes for technology leaders: 

  • Strengthening district leadership and communications;
  • Raising the bar with rigorous, transformative, and innovative learning and skills;
  • Transforming pedagogy with compelling learning experiences;
  • Supporting professional development and communities of practice; and
  • Creating balanced assessments.

Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN, said in an interview that this latest toolkit is a based on what superintendents who have sought to make digitial conversions in their district. It provides an update on  guidance originally put forward in 2008 and 2010.

Co-chairing the advisory panel for the news resource were Mark Edwards, superintendent of Mooresville, N.C.'s school district, and Terry Grier, superintendent of Houston ISD, Texas. Edwards encourages district leaders to make chief technology officers cabinet- or executive-level board members to increase the likelihood that "wise technology decisions" will boost schools' success.

Earlier this year, CoSN also released a toolkit for school technology leaders to help them ensure that they are protecting privacy in connected learning—in part by asking tougher questions of vendors.

Follow @EdWeekMMolnar and @EdWeekIandI for the latest news on industry and innovation in education.

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