cto-night

6 things keeping your CTO up at night


1. Keeping data—and students—safe. Steve Young, CTO at Judson Independent School District in San Antonio says one overarching theme that was discussed at the event was the ongoing struggle to balance the increasing number of tech-based learning tools and applications with the need for solid personal and data security.

Young says this issue hits particularly hard for districts that are using more cloud-based services, versus hard drive-based software systems. “The decision over whether to give teachers and administrators access to all of these services is a big one,” says Young. “There are now a lot of [resources] that are accessible online, and that may or may not be endorsed by the school or district.”

2. Data sharing. According to Young, this is an issue that’s been brought to light on a global scale by the recent Home Depot, Target, and bank-related security breaches. “The organizations that are getting [hit] have big security teams and stringent controls in place,” says Young. “Meanwhile, in K-12 we’re just starting to talk about these issues.” Again, he points to the cloud as a driving factor behind these “talks,” noting that an administrator could unintentionally share private student data with “everyone in the district.”

3. Social media safety. John K. Orbaugh, executive director of technology for Tyler Independent School District in Tyler, Texas, also participated on the panel and says that online security and safety issues are always paramount in his team’s mind. With so much activity taking place on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, for example, CTOs struggle to balance required protections with the ability to use such platforms openly on the instructional side. “It’s a constant tug of war,” says Orbaugh,” and we only have so many staff members and hours in the day to support all of this activity. We can’t be all things to all people.”

Next page: BYOD gripes and solutions

 

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