Jim Cain
Klein Independent School District
Texas

Cain was Klein ISD’s first technology director in the late ’80s. From his initial leadership in using technology to increase productivity both inside and outside the classroom, to his current role as superintendent, he has carried this district of 45,000 students and 6,000 employees to national prominence as a model for effective technology use.

Under Cain’s leadership, the Klein ISD school board operates in a digital, paperless environment, with each member given a district-owned laptop. All board agenda items and support documentation are posted on a web-based application. In 2007, the Klein ISD school board was designated as one of the top 10 tech-savvy boards from the National School Boards Association.

Two major instructional technology initiatives in Klein ISD’s technology plan are the Technology Baseline Standard Initiative (TBSI) and the One‐to‐One Tablet PC program. Through the TBSI, all K‐12 core content classrooms have been equipped with a minimum of five networked computers, an interactive whiteboard, a projector, a document camera, and a student response pad system for ongoing assessment. Intensive professional development accompanies the installation of technology tools in every classroom. The One‐to‐One Tablet PC program now provides nearly 10,000 teachers and students on four different campus locations with 24-7 access to rich instructional materials and powerful productivity tools. With the implementation of the district’s Tablet PC program, schools have seen an increase in state test scores in all four core content areas, especially in math and science.

Klein ISD’s success in implementing highly effective instructional technology programs starts with Cain’s leadership and his ability to clearly articulate—within the district itself, and to the community at large—a vision for education in the 21st century, with a focus on meeting the learning needs of all students. Beyond the use of technology in the classrooms, Cain also leads all support departments in using technology to maximize district resources. Through the use of complex data systems, all departments are better able to manage resources such as funding, staff, buildings, grounds, utilities, security, food service, transportation, and other functions needed to run a large school district.

Cain has been a frequent speaker at state and national conferences, where he has been able to share his expertise and help others replicate Klein ISD’s success with technology for learning and for running a school district. Klein ISD also frequently hosts visitors from around the state and nation, who come to see firsthand the full scope of the district’s technology programs.