Four must-have tools for superintendents

Bob Nelson, superintendent of schools in Chawanakee Unified School District, shares four must-have tools for superintendents.

superintendents-social-media-toolsI am the Superintendent of the Chawanakee Unified School District, which is the home of Minarets High, a three-time Apple Distinguished School designee, and a rural, mountain area district in which we have one-to-one technology in grades 4 and above. Some of the tech tools I use the most include:

Facebook and Twitter

We use social media extensively, both as administrators and with our students, in order to promote the projects students are doing and to give our community timely information on the things happening throughout our district.

All of our high school students have full access to social media, and we work diligently with them on creating a digital footprint that they can be proud of, and that can bring them deserved recognition. As a superintendent, too, it gives me a direct communication channel to people all throughout our system, and they come to know me at a deeper, more connected level.


I love being able to take notes on my laptop, phone, or iPad and have them all sync up in a single digital file. Imagine having all of the notes you have taken in any meeting you have attended, available to you all the time. That is the power of Evernote.


Used in conjunction with social media, Instagram is every school administrator’s answer to being able to provide immediate positive recognition for the great things that are happening. People often say that they can’t find the time to recognize the good that is occurring or lament, “If people only knew what was happening.” Now, with Instagram, everybody can, and does, know in live time.

Mac to School

Trying to manage having an entire district’s one-to-one program can be incredibly costly, and if the types of machines that students are using differ widely, instructional difficulties can occur as well. Mac to School is an affordable solution with top quality refurbished machines that allow us to stay current and insure that every one of the kids in our program has a top quality experience. Folks can be hard on a daily machine, too — the price point of the refurbished machines allows us to provide necessary replacements at a fraction of the cost.

Have great tech essentials you’d like to share with readers? Send your contribution here.

Bob Nelson is the Superintendent of Schools, Chawanakee Unified School District

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