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Valuable advice from tech coordinators

Tech leaders and coordinators propose effective approaches to managing technology and projects

tech-coordinatorsSchool and district technology directors have important responsibilities and face new challenges each day. Mobile device programs, software updates, and network maintenance are only a few of the wide-ranging issues that a tech coordinator must address.

Sometimes, the most helpful advice comes from fellow technology directors–those who have had to respond to technology emergencies, confer with administrators and advocate for technology purchases, and more.

eSchool News asked tech coordinators from around the country to offer advice to their fellow tech coordinators. What is the best part of being a technology director? What is the most challenging? What can you do to make your efforts as successful as possible?

(Next page: Valuable advice from tech coordinators)

We encourage you to add your advice or thoughts in the comment section below.

Here, three technology coordinators offer their insight:

Technology coordinators should “embrace the idea that our role is to disrupt routine, facilitate conversations, and foster organizational agency and agility.”

Ryan Bretag, Director of Instructional Technology in the Glenbrook High School District 225 in Illinois


“I think most technology coordinators/directors/CTOs are so overwhelmed with the day-to-day challenges [that] they don’t have a chance to think about what really makes a program successful. It took me a number of years, but I realized I had to create “systems” that provided me the time and opportunities for success.”

Critical systems relevant to tech coordinators include staff development, infrastructure, teacher and student empowerment, and community partnerships.

In terms of staff development, “it’s not enough to just provide basic skills. You need a team of students and educators who can support your efforts. I tried to always find my “scouts” who would clue me into new strategies and solutions. We would test the waters with small scale pilot projects. If the pilot projects worked, then we’d look at scaling these in other buildings.

“Once I had these in place I no longer had to just make it through each day. I could focus on projects that were scalable and sustainable.”

Norton Gusky, retired ed-tech coordinator for the Fox Chapel Area School District in Pittsburgh, Pa.; educational technology broker and project-based learning consultant


“Technology combined with powerful instructional practices can dramatically enhance learning; technology combined with weak pedagogy tends to only make poor teachers more efficient; focus your energies on the former!

“If you are not being included in curriculum decision-making, politely invite yourself to those meetings and listen to their needs.

“Educational technology and IT/network services should be ‘joined at the hip,’ so they are working in concert with one another.”

Dennis Small, Educational Technology Director, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington State 

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