1. Leadership. Take a leadership role in developing and implementing the district plan for instructional use of computers; the implementation should include provisions for evaluation and periodic updating. Tasks include:
2. Finances. Understand the district budget, budgeting process, and spending process, and work within this system to secure adequate resources for instructional computing. Help to ensure that school-level budgets and the district budget adequately support the district's instructional technology plan. Be especially aware of equity issues when doing budgeting and distributing resources. Work with administration and faculty to write grants for implementation of technology related educational programs.
3. Resource Center. Develop a district technology resource center to be used by school level technology leaders, teachers, and students. The resource center may contain hardware, software, courseware, and instructional support materials such as books, periodicals and journals, films, and video tapes. This center can also be a repository for specialty equipment which cannot be afforded for each teacher, classroom, or building. This center can also be the central service area for a district or building wide network.
4. Resource People. Develop and maintain a list of resource people, which may include district staff, with information about the computer background, interests, and involvement of each person. Identify technology leaders at each school and technology oriented leaders in each academic discipline, who can assist the coordinator in decision-making processes and assist faculty in simple technical or curricular concerns related to technology. Encourage each school to develop a list of parents who might volunteer their services as computer aides, technical assistants, or fund raisers. Develop contacts with vendors who are willing to provide loans of hardware and software, or assist in training educators. Develop contacts with other educational institutions to encourage dissemination of effective policies and ideas for use of technology in the educational process.
5. Inservice Plan. Develop, implement, and periodically evaluate a district technology oriented inservice plan. One goal of this inservice plan should be to identify and/or help develop resource people in every discipline and at every grade level who can provide leadership in working to accomplish the district instructional technology plan. A second goal should be to help all teachers and school administrators become functionally computer-literate and learn their roles in accomplishing the district technology plan. A district inservice plan needs to take into consideration workshops and courses available from a variety of sources, including those available within the district (in-house inservices), from local colleges and community education programs, and those available from private consulting firms.
6. Hardware and Software Acquisition. Help the district to develop and implement plans for the acquisition and maintenance of hardware and software. Acquisition will likely involve going out for bids for necessary equipment at least once per year. The acquisition plan should accommodate the needs of each of the schools in the district, and should take into consideration current use and availability of equipment at each of the schools to determine if relocation of equipment will provide a more efficient use of technologies.
Maintenance will include routine preventive maintenance as well as more general repair and replacement. It might prove desirable to have one teacher in every school trained to do a minimal level of maintenance. In the high school, one might want to have some students trained to provide this service. A district may want to maintain a supply of spare parts and develop a maintenance contract with an individual or organization which can repair the types of equipment the district is acquiring.
The district software policy should also address the issue of whether the district will support, encourage, or discourage software development. It should contain a clear statement against software piracy. District inservice programs should address the software piracy issue; the goal is to have the district policy understood and supported by all school personnel.
7. Hardware and Software Inventory. Maintain an accurate inventory of computer hardware and software that belongs to the district and to individual schools in the district. Help set policy on the possible creation of a district-owned pool of hardware and/or software that resides in a particular school building and can be moved from school to school as needed. Help establish procedures for schools to borrow software from each other. Work to establish an "effective life" for hardware and software, so that hardware and software that is no longer appropriate to use can be removed from service.
8. Research and Evaluation. Help develop and implement a district procedure for the evaluation of software, hardware, and courseware, and for the sharing of the results of such evaluation. Be involved in district research projects to evaluate instructional use of computers. Tie in with other school districts and with national or state organizations that are doing software evaluation. Acquire books and periodicals that evaluate software.
Design and encourage pilot projects. For each new "innovation," eventually the district must decide whether to adopt and implement its use. Pilot studies can help answer such questions.
9. Information Dissemination. Disseminate technology-related information throughout the district via news bulletins, electronic main, presentations at district and building level staff meetings, etc. Establish a liaison committee of key people in the community and meet periodically with this committee. Help to create and/or work with a local computer-using educators group. Be an active participant in local and regional education conferences, including those not directly related to technology use (perhaps presenting at such conferences).
10. Community Relations. Work on community relations by speaking to parent and professional groups, publicizing the district technology plan and progress. Encourage schools to have technology oriented open houses for parents, with students and teachers demonstrating various uses of technologies in the classroom. Work with community education programs to assist community members and parents in use of computers and other technologies.
11. Hiring Policy. Encourage the development and implementation of a district hiring policy that takes into consideration the computer knowledge and experience of applicants, and gives preference to computer literate applicants.
12. Fund Raising. Help the district to obtain outside funding by participating in grant planning and proposal writing. Try to find funds to support individual teachers in developing pilot studies on various instructional applications of technologies. Help individual teachers obtain funding to go to educational technology conferences and participate in staff development.
13. Improve Education. Work to improve the overall quality of education received by students in the district. Be sensitive to equity issues and work to resolve inequities. Be an educational change agent. Participate in the development of curricular standards and benchmarks to encourage appropriate use of technology. Work with educators to develop lesson plans and activities involving use of technology to further attainment of educational goals. Inform teachers of new technologies or software which may assist in developing concepts of content specific materials. Be aware of technology trends and possible futures of the field of computers in education.
14. Technical Competence. Remain technically competent. Continue to grow as a professional technology educator and as an educational leader. Be professionally active at regional or higher level meetings. Subscribe to technology-oriented educational publications and schedule regular time to read them. Keep apprised of changes in the technologies available and directions of future technology development.
Assist faculty and staff in dealing with minor technical issues in order to maintain a positive attitude among educators about use of technologies and avoid frustrations and fear of technologies by those teachers unfamiliar with them. Perform simple maintenance and trouble-shooting procedures on equipment for efficient use of maintenance funds.
The general qualifications of a technology coordinator can be divided into four main categories. The categorization is somewhat arbitrary and some categories overlap; still, this categorization is useful. Notice that the first three categories do not address technology.
In keeping with these qualifications, it is recommended that this position be limited to a certified educator in the state of Michigan. This person need not be certified to teach computer programming (specifically), though this individual should have a strong background in educational technology both in the workplace and from an accredited institution. Given the curriculum and pedagogical background requirements, it is recommended that this person hold a Master's degree in educational technology or curriculum development from an accredited institution, and have at least three years of teaching experience.
Portions of these guidelines are based on suggestions from The Technology Coordinator, by David Moursund.
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