While the U.S. Department of Education and many state education agencies focus on training teachers to use technology, it’s clear that many administrators lack the necessary skills to become leaders in implementing technology programs.

In January, staff members from the International Society for Technology in Education, National School Boards Association, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, and other organizations met to develop technology standards for administrators. The consortium said it hopes to publish its standards by October.

Administrators have the primary responsibility for coordinating the use of technology across a district—a more complex task than bringing technology into an individual classroom or school. Administrators also can keep effective technology projects alive when a teacher who had “championed” the project leaves a particular school or school system.

Among the issues the consortium will include in its standards are budgeting, developing classroom curricula, using networks, and assessing educators’ training needs. The consortium also will outline how administrators can decide which students and which subjects will benefit most significantly from technology and, in a general sense, the equipment and training needed to implement those goals.

However, the consortium is not seeking to create standards that will result in administrators trying to learn the “nuts and bolts” of computer technology. “Administrators need to be comfortable about not knowing everything, but they should know who knows,” said one participant in the meeting. “They don’t have to be a network administrator.”