Wednesday, June 17, 2015

MyNotes: CTO Boot Camp #txcto15 @cosn @tx_cto_council #txctoclinic15

Left to Right: Ms. Johnson, Mr. Schwartz, Session Facilitators
At the Texas CTO meeting, it was great to listen--in fact, let me say that this preso was GOLD--to two premier CTOs, Frankie Johnson (Cypress-Fairbanks ISD) and Kevin Schwartz (Clear Creek ISD). Both were sharing how they went out for bond packages to replace aging equipment (and ideas, people, too)...both experienced a 70% approval rating for bond packages.
Announcement: Join #etdrive, a Texas wide conversation focused on 3 strands using "push to learn" technology, VoxerChats. Follow these two steps to begin your learning journey now.
Listen to Audio Recording, CTO Boot Camp
Note: This audio is raw and unedited; it is linked via
About Content: I stopped recording audio and taking notes about 2 hours. The remainder was about the Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) testing process. Thanks to Kevin and Frankie for granting permission to record and share.

Here are my take-aways from their presentation:

  1. 10 different categories of the job
  2. Session is designed for new and aspiring CTOs to help them with strategies and skills of becoming a chief technology officer.
  3. Learn about the Essential SKills Framework for CTOs and the Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) certification program. Current CTOs can also benefit from this session.
  4. If it's not this certification, then what else is it going to be? To level set the skills, what other certification is there? Let's work together to build the next generation of CTOs.
  5. A poll of the room reveals that most folks report to the Superintendent. A lot of school districts are trying to figure out how and where the CTO fits...whether on instructional or technical side. Leadership has to bridge this.
  6. Graph/Survey on The Changing Role of the CTO across business and education:
    1. 80% Technology
    2. 15% Fiscal Management
    3. 15 Organization and Culture
    4. 15% Business
    5. 15% Leadership and Management
  7. The CTO position has changed over the years.
  8. There is a lot of power when you report to the Superintendent and are on the Cabinet.
  9. There's a piece beyond "utilities"
  10. What are some new job expectations that are required of you as your district's technology leader? (Results from the Texas K-12 CTO Council Survey Conducted on October 13-16, 2014)
    1. District-level strategic planning: Have to be involved in every decision if it involves network (e.g. video cameras, A/C systems, kiosks)
    2. Blending information systems, instructional technology and professional learning into a cohesive team
    3. Public relations - what a CTO does is newsworthy, or dealing with public info requests
    4. Attending all executive level meetings both during day and evenings
    5. Participating in budgeting preparation for the entire district
    6. Long-Term financial strategy
    7. Federating identities between clouds and internal systems
    8. Supporting mobile devices that the district didn't purchase
    9. Supporting instructional as well as technical focus
    10. Involved with how teachers use the technology and more deeply involved with curriculum and textbook decisions
    11. Community awareness and 1:1 deployments brings renewed attention to wireless, filtering, identity security
    12. Connecting globally to people
    13. Staying abreast of cutting edge technology, capabilities
    14. "The more we can work together, build our skillset, the better off we will be as a state and nation." -Frankie Johnson
  11. What are some of the new things you've encountered?
    1. Digital citizenship - not using technology to control people. This is also about understanding pedagogy. 
    2. Security & autonomy - teachers entering confidential student information into the cloud...but should they be? And how are those apps being blended into the classroom?
    3. Finding more demands on doing professional development for new teachers and staff.
    4. ACLU - Blocking categories that was perceived as being against civil rights.
  12. As more departments embrace technology, we are expected to become the experts in helping implement and maintain their program improvements. This is nothing new but just seems that more and more departments are turning to technology.
  13. Don't be afraid to "steal" from other bond projects to build your own.
  14. "How to get Internet to every student at home?"
    1. [Miguel's Question: Are metropolitan area networks covered in CETL?]
    2. More political position (CTO)
  15. Configuring networks and servers to mediating a contract for an ASP
  16. Supervising technicians to evaluating out-sourced work and setting up effective helpdesks.
  17. Writing tech plans to working inter-departmentally with curriculum, staff-development, public relations, assessment and strategic planning
  18. Providing technology devices to staff and students to providing access to school resources for personal devices. Source: Robert J Moore, The Future of Information Technology: How the Next Ten Years Will Fundamentally Change the Role of the K-12 CTO, Executive Summary, November 2010, COSN
  19. K-12 CTO Skills Moving from:
    1. Writing policies that dictate behaviors to writing guidelines and curricula that encourage safe and responsible use.
    2. Knowing less about the "how of a new technology to the "why" of a new technology in education.
    3. Maintaining the status quo to selecting and planning for new technology applications and best practices.
  20. "We've been asking our schools to change for many years. Are we prepared to change our own roles?"
  21. As a CTO, you have to have a process in place so that you don't take all the blame yourself.
  22. New Challenges for CTOs:
    1. High Areas
      1. 25% - Instructional Focus and PD
      2. 18% - Stakeholder Focus
      3. 14% - Team Building and Staffing
      4. Leadership and Vision
      5. Strategic Planning
      6. Business Management
    2. Low Areas (under 5%)
      1. Information Technology
      2. Data management
      3. Ethics & Policies
  23. Framework for the CTO Role (CETL)
  24. Identifies the skills and knowledge that CTOs need to either acquire or to strengthen.
  25. Defines best practices, whether or not they are followed in every school district.
  26. Illustrates the expanded role of CTO as an education--not just technology--leader.
  27. This is more than just someone who can make the magic happen.
  28. The framework may be used to
    1. self-assess
    2. Describe the clearly identifiable role for CTO within the district leadership structure
    3. Validate CTOs who already have these skills and knowledge
    4. Help guide the CTO interview and hiring process
    5. Provide roadmap for professional development for both CTOs and those who hire them.
    6. Clarifies the need for partnership of teaching, learning and tech services.
  29. Leadership & Vision
    1. Leadership & Vision:
      1. "Work closely with the executive team and stakeholders to develop a shared vision with long-term, big-picture perspectives on district goals to plan for meaningful and effective uses of technology; provide leadership when creating a vision of how technology will help meet district goals."
      2. Understand the big picture: Reframe everything you do in technology to reflect the big picture...the vision about the learning. 
      3. Participate in the deciion-making process
      4. Facilitate change
    2. Strategic Planning: "Have a high-level view across the school system and work with instructional and technical teams to identify steps needed to transform the technology vision into a long-range plan, complete with specific goals, objectives, and action plans." When someone is asking, "To what do we aspire?" make sure you are in the room to be a part of that.
      1. Align tech efforts to strategic goals
      2. Utilize best practices and Value of Investment (VOI) analysis
      3. Mitigate risk: It is important to build relationships PRIOR to whatever initiative. As you mature through the process of mobility, you acclimate people. The next level is how are you going to be more efficient, acclimating parents to new efficiencies. Finally, how do you just make it more efficient. 
    3. Ethics & Policies: "Have a high level view across the school system and work with instructional and technical teams to identify steps needed to transform the technology vision into a long-range plan, complete with specific goals, objectives, and action plans."
      1. "Most conflict, has at its source, a difference in expectation." - Kevin Schwartz
      2. "Manage the creation, implementation, and enforcement of policies and educational programs relating to the social, legal, and ethical issues related to technology use throughout the district and modeling responsible decision-making."
        1. Enforce PEIMS, FERPA, COPPA, and CIPA
        2. Understand eRate
        3. Assure fairness and honesty
        4. Focus on green computing
  30. Managing Technology & Support Resources
    1. Information Technology
    2. Communication Systems
    3. Business Management
    4. Data Management
  31. Understanding the Educational Environment
    1. Instructional Focus & Professional Development
      1. "Budget, plan, and coordinate ongoing, purposeful professional development for all staff using technologies; ensure a sufficient budget through the implementation and assessment process of emerging technologies."
    2. Team Building and Staffing: "Play an integral role in the district's strategic planning process; create and support cross-functional teams for decision-making, technology support, professional development, and other aspects of the district's technology program."
      1. Take your team on learning walks to celebrate success and discuss gap between vision and reality. [Great idea!]
    3. Data Stakeholder Focus: "Build relationships with all stakeholders, taking a close look at how the district determines requirements, expectations, and preferences. Understand the key factors that lead to stakeholder satisfaction, focusing on how the district seeks knowledge, satisfaction and loyalty of students and other stakeholders."
      1. Collaborate and communicate.
      2. Build relationships and partnerships. If you don't build relationships and partnerships--if it's the Superintendent's Vision or CTO's Vision alone--you are doomed. This can take a year or two to do...make sure you do it FIRST. You can't shortcut to the year from ideation to implementation.
  32. Information Technology
    1. Direct, coordinate and ensure implementation of all tasks related to technical, infrastructure, standards and integration of tech into every facet of district operations.
      1. formulate data
  33. Communication Systems - Use technology to improve communication, directing and coordinating the use of email, district websites, web tools, voice mail systems, and other forms of communication to facilitate decision-making and to enhance effective communication with key stakeholders.
  34. Business Management - Manage the budget and serve as a strong business leader who guides purchasing decisions, determines the return on investment for all tech implmeentations, fosters good relationships with vendors, potential funders and other key groups.
    1. Manage funding sources and budgets
    2. Manage purchasing policies, RFPs, Co-op
    3. Negotiate with vendors
    4. Prepare total cost and value of ownership
  35. Data Management
    1. Manage the establishment and maintenance of systems and tools for gathering, mining, integrating and reporting data in usable and meaningful ways to produce an information culture in which data management is critical to strategic planning.
  36. Core Values & Skills
    1. Effective Communicator
    2. Innovative
    3. Courageous
    4. Flexible & Adaptable
    5. Results-Oriented
  37. We have to acknowledge that we are 50% of the problem - Superintendents are on one side, we are on the other. This realization can be empowering.
  38. How do you measure VOI? [Unrelated, but interesting white paper, From ROI to VOI]
Note: I stopped recording audio and taking notes about 2 hours. The remainder was about the Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) testing process.

Relevant Links

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

No comments:

Genuine Leadership #4: Gratitude