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•	Technology Leadership, Planning and Implementation:  Specific Strategies for Small School Districts – Vickie Bigham
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• Technology Leadership, Planning and Implementation: Specific Strategies for Small School Districts – Vickie Bigham


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  • 1. Technology Leadership, Planning and Implementation: Specific Strategies for Small School Districts Presented at SchoolDude University 2009 Vicki Smith Bigham President, Bigham Technology Solutions, Inc. Consultant to the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
  • 2. As you come into the session, please complete the Self Assessment of the K-12 Chief Technology Officer. Then take the 2 blue dots and the 2 yellow dots at your seat. On the skill area charts posted, place 1 blue dot on each of the 2 skill areas where you feel you are strongest and 1 yellow dot on each of the 2 skill areas where you feel you need the most growth .
  • 3. Who are “Small School Districts”?
    • Student populations of 2,500 or less
    • Nearly 75% of nation’s 14,000 districts
    • Typically impacted by different resource, personnel and expertise constraints than larger districts
    • Often challenged to plan long-term given immediate needs, lack of resources and personnel and, in some cases, expertise
  • 4. Major CoSN Focus Group Findings
    • Lack of budget, personnel, time and sometimes expertise
    • Ever expanding roles and responsibilities and “wearing many hats”
    • Challenges stemming from lack of community support
    • Often hard to “make the case” for technology, both internally and externally
  • 5. Focus Group Finding: Most Critical Problems
  • 6. Small District Technology Leadership Wiki
  • 7. Wiki to Address Small District Issues and Needs
    • Internet-based toolkit…goal is to be one-stop resource for small district technology leaders
    • Resources relevant to all districts but with special insights for small school districts
    • Resources aligned to CoSN’s Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO
    • Case studies for each skill area
  • 8. Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO
    • Leadership and Vision
    • Planning and Budgeting
    • Team Building and Staffing
    • Systems Management
    • Information Management
    • Business Leadership
    • Education and Training
    • Ethics and Policies
    • Communications Systems
    • From CoSN’s “What It Takes: Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO”
  • 9. Leadership and Vision - Strategies for Small School Districts
    • Developing a shared vision and big-picture perspective on the district’s goals
    • Playing a key role in district-wide planning and goal setting
    • Serving comfortably as a change agent and consensus builder
  • 10. Reaching Out to All Stakeholders Perspectives of Those Involved in Technology Planning Board Members Media Specialists District Administrators Teachers Principals/ Assistant Principals Business Manager Parents Students
  • 11. Planning and Budgeting - Strategies for Small School Districts
    • Transforming the district vision for effective use of technology into a long-range plan
    • Beginning with strategic challenges and moving on to specific goals, objectives and action plans
  • 12. What does Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) mean… …and what has it got to do with a school learning environment?
  • 13. What Is TCO?
    • All costs associated with deploying, operating and maintaining a computer network
    • Analysis tool used by businesses since the late-1980’s
    • A method of understanding real costs to make good decisions on technology investments
  • 14. A Simple School TCO Definition
    • Hardware $$ (purchase or lease)
    • Installation $$
    • Software $$
    • Upgrades $$
    • Technical Support $$
    • Outside Services $$
    • Professional Development $$
    • User Self-Support & Training $$
    • Total Cost of Ownership
    + + + + + + + +
  • 15. TCO Can Help Schools Meet Educational Goals by…
    • Tracking tech support
      • To minimize time computer and network is down
      • To minimize troubleshooting interruptions for teachers
    • Tracking adequacy of professional development
      • To ensure teachers are prepared
      • To ensure teachers are integrating technology into the curriculum
    • Tracking pros and cons of various implementations and support strategies
    The bottom line: effective use of technology
  • 16. The CoSN-Gartner TCO Tool
    • Developed by CoSN, Gartner and NCRTEC at North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
    • Supported financially by U.S. Department of Education
    • Gartner’s distributed computing TCO methodology for businesses modified for K-12 environment
      • 100 data points
    • Reviewed with a significant number of school districts
    • Available at
  • 17. Team Building and Staffing - Strategies for Small School Districts
    • Include a staffing strategy to support the technology plan as an integral part of strategic planning — from the beginning
  • 18. Systems Management - Strategies for Small School Districts
    • Overseeing day-to-day operation of the district’s IT systems
      • Requiring project management and personal leadership skills
      • Requiring perpetual learning
  • 19. Information Management - Strategies for Small School Districts
    • Focusing on the crucial role information plays in today’s schools
    • Utilizing the powerful data gathering abilities of digital age tools for strategic planning
  • 20. An Iterative Process of Continuous Improvement
  • 21. Data-Driven Decision Making Districts That Employ A Data-Driven Decision Making Process (Digital Leadership Divide: CoSN/Grunwald Survey) Source:
  • 22. A New Paradigm
    • Sophisticated Data Collection
    • Dissemination technologies
    • Better understanding of how individuals learn
    • New assessments
    + + +
  • 23. Barriers to More Effective Data-Driven Decision Making Barriers to Data-Driven Decision Making To what degree does your district consider the following to be barriers to a more effective data-driven decision making process? (N=353) (Percent Responding 8, 9, or 10 on a 10-point scale) Source: Grunwald Associates Lack of training and interoperability are the main barriers to more effective data-driven decisions. A lack of understanding of what to do with data is a barrier that is particular to large and medium districts.
  • 24. CoSN Initiative: Vision to Know and Do
    • Stages of data-driven decision making…
    • VISION planning for DDDM
    • KNOW implementation of systems and processes for DDDM
    • DO targeted interventions and their results
  • 25. CoSN Initiative: Vision to Know and Do
    • Launched by CoSN to help educators use data effectively with goals to provide
      • Respected source of up-to-date, unbiased information for educators on collecting, understanding and effectively using data
      • Practical mechanism for educating school leaders about data-driven decision making and its application in K-12
      • Framework for sharing knowledge among educators and transferring knowledge between educational and vendor communities
  • 26. Business Leadership - Strategies for Small School Districts
    • Advising on technology expenditures
    • Overseeing the selection of technology items
    • Reviewing requisitions for technology purchases
    • Exercising authority to approve, amend or reject purchases based on compatibility with district goals and needs
  • 27. Education and Training - Strategies for Small School Districts
    • Overseeing district-wide, technology-related staff development efforts
      • From ensuring a sufficient budget through the implementation and assessment process
  • 28. Professional Development - Things to Consider
    • Whether your investment will go to waste
    • Wasted time of those who DO understand computers
    • Wasted time when not in synch with installation
    • Bad choices made by under-trained technology staff
  • 29. Ethics and Policies - Strategies for Small School Districts
    • Understanding the social, legal and ethical issues related to technology
    • Modeling responsible decision making with regard to these areas
    • Building consensus around key issues related to appropriate use of technology, as well as communicating with all parties regarding what is expected of them
  • 30. Communication Systems - Strategies for Small School Districts
    • Communicating with all members of the educational community
    • Using technology-enhanced tools to support communication with stakeholders
  • 31. Telling the Technology Story . . . Public relations is a critical component of your district’s successful technology implementation— and it involves communicating on an ongoing basis with the range of stakeholders inside and outside the district.
  • 32. Community Support Makes a Difference Source: Digital Leadership Divide , Grunwald Associates
  • 33. Vicki Smith Bigham Bigham Technology Solutions, Inc. 8045-B Antoine #101 Houston, TX 77088 [email_address]