Multimedia Schools, May/June 1999, p. 38

The role of the technology coordinator is a difficult one to define and is ever-changing in schools across the nation. Many schools never fully define a technology coordinator’s duties, or they only hire one technology coordinator to do the work of an entire department.

Moreover, with all the technical problems that arise from the presence of technology in schools, technology coordinators rarely get to spend much time on curriculum development and technology integration. To stay close to this target goal, you should:

  1. Clearly define the goals and roles of the technology coordinator, keeping them in close alignment with the educational technology goals of the school system.<

  2. As a technology coordinator, assume the role of leader — don’t become the front-line answer-person for technical support questions. The technology coordinator should help craft an educational vision that includes technology, not answer computer help calls.

  3. Realize that one person can’t perform all the tasks necessary to run a school’s technology initiatives — as a technology coordinator, then, you must be able to tell others how many support personnel you need and in what positions. A good rule of thumb is to form a team of three personnel: the technology coordinator to administer the department, a technician to install and troubleshoot software and hardware, and an integration expert who helps fold the technology into the curriculum and trains teachers and students on how to use it.

  4. Don’t become the “electronic janitor.” Especially if you’re just one person without a staff, don’t get bogged down in the daily and weekly maintenance of fixing things that break — have a service contract or create a corps of students to handle basic network, hardware, and software maintenance.

  5. Make teacher training a priority. No technology that’s installed in your school will be of use if the teachers aren’t given time and guidance to learn how to use it effectively.

  6. Survey the strengths and weaknesses of instructors and then develop training programs geared toward areas of interest and needing improvement.

  7. Address the technology needs on the business and administrative side of school operations.

  8. Clearly define the technology coordinator job description and specify pay ranges, raise schedules, and benefits packages. Many tech coordinator job descriptions are too vague. Schools must try to remain competitive with private-sector demand for these technology experts.