News

5 things changing today’s CTO role

By Laura Devaney, Director of News, @eSN_Laura
June 29th, 2016

CTO ISTE

During ISTE 2016, a panel of CTOs and educators examined how changes in today’s schools and technologies are impacting the role of the traditional CTO

Chief technology officers (CTOs) in school districts juggle any number of demands relating to IT support, technology integration into classroom instruction, and future district technology plans. But as technology changes, and as the needs of students and teachers change, so does the role of the CTO.

A panel of CTOs, ed-tech specialists, and educators at ISTE 2016 in Denver, moderated by Jeremy Shorr, the director of innovation and education technology in Ohio’s Mentor Public Schools, explored some of the challenges that come along with those changes and shared their best practices for ensuring that technology continues to meet the needs of teaching and learning throughout those changes.

Blended learning

Blended learning has enjoyed time as one of ed-tech’s big buzz phrases. But is it still relevant today, and if so, why? When and where does blended learning make sense, and how do CTOs support that transition? The blended learning umbrella is very, very big. Is that broad umbrella an asset or a detriment?

“Blended learning means flexible learning that caters to learning styles of students,” said Kevin Honeycutt, a technology integration specialist at ESSDACK. “Schools that try to do right by all students, instead of teaching one way, have never left this game. If you’re willing to be flexible to the point of contortionism on behalf of what students need, you’re in that game.”

The broad umbrella “can contribute to blended learning being a buzzword, and not necessarily something that is working to make learning better for kids,” said Susan Bearden, director of IT at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Florida.

Next page: Four more challenges to the traditional CTO role


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