How can a district’s leadership team find the time to fairly and objectively evaluate these competencies across the school system?  How do you do a 360 degree assessment and see where everyone on the leadership team is with technology?  Fortunately, CoSN has developed a readiness evaluation tool—the “District Leadership Team Assessment,” which enables your team to identify strengths and opportunities for growth. This free team assessment is part of CoSN’ s Empowered Superintendent initiative, produced with AASA (The School Superintendents Association).

On a scale of one to five, district and school leaders rate their teams based on a series of statements to see how they can improve their readiness across the core competencies. One example for strengthening district leadership and communications asks respondents to assess themselves on the following statement: “We encourage innovative ideas from principals and teachers for using technology to support student learning.” Another example, concerning the transformation of pedagogy through compelling learning environments, states: “We work together to create innovative learning environments appropriate for the digital age.”

The aggregate of these ratings gives teams a baseline before moving forward. I am sure this has never happened in your school district, but sometimes the expectations and vision of the superintendent or principal are not consistent with the views of others on their team.  Identifying these “disconnects” is a key part of moving forward.

Complementing the team assessments, superintendents and CTOs can also measure their own skills on an individual basis through separate personal evaluations—the “Self-Assessment for Superintendents” and the “Self-Assessment for CTOs and Technology Staff.” Combined, these assessments open the door for superintendents, aspiring superintendents, CTOs, and district leadership teams to identify their strengths and weaknesses and build their knowledge, skills, and confidence both from leadership roles and within the entire unit.

The integral role of digital tools, and their place in the lives of America’s youth, will only grow in 2015 and beyond. This reality heightens the task of administrators who remain focused on ensuring all students are prepared for college, career and life readiness.

School leadership teams in 2015 have an opportunity to work closer together and strengthen their technology readiness skills. The effects will transform learning and pay enormous dividends for our students in today’s hyper-connected world.

Keith Krueger is the CEO of CoSN (Consortium for School Networking). Learn more about The Empowered Superintendent at: cosn.org/superintendents.

To learn more about “Leading the Digital Leap,” please visit: leaddigitalleap.org, and follow @LeadDigitalLeap.