Chief technology officers emerging as collaborative leaders of modern districts
The role of CTO or CIO has evolved significantly over the years from simple tech support to playing a major role in the identification of high-risk students and the implementation of data-driven strategies to improve student achievement, District Administration reports.
In an arena that is ripe for innovation, CTOs and CIOs have the opportunity to collaborate with teachers and administration to apply creativity and critical thinking to the problem of how data collection can best be used to improve student success.
For example, some school districts are using Google’s “G Suite for Education” to offer professional development and teacher collaboration in the implementation of lessons.
While chief technology officers and chief information officers were once considered part of the operation center of the school district, a new emphasis on data-driven support strategies and 1:1 curriculum delivery has elevated the role within the district. Many CTOs and CIOs are now part of the leadership team or cabinet of an educational institution.
The use of technology now permeates almost every aspect of education, from district communication to curriculum delivery. The importance of this mission means that these employees must now possess leadership skills and a thorough knowledge of educational practices to succeed. In a recent IT roundtable discussion, THE Journal discussed this changing role with some school IT professionals who foresee the title of CTO evolving to chief innovation officer as time goes on.
As the importance and relevance of this role expands, more CTOs and CIOs may be on the fast-track to becoming district superintendents. This trend is already demonstrated in higher education, where some CIOs are now elevated to positions as vice-presidents of institutions. This role expansion means that individuals who enter the field of education through the door of technology may have more pathways to leadership. It also means that educational leaders may need to become more technologically savvy if they wish to remain relevant in the current educational climate.
- District Administration Schools walk the walk