Edtech leaders must have a deep understanding of technology and how it fits into education. However, they also must have the soft skills required to work with staff members and between departments, District Administration reports.
Adela Dickey, director of technology for the Northwest Allen County Schools in Indiana, looks for technology department staff who have strong customer service skills, and who can communicate and collaborate. Successful job candidates must understand the needs of the education sector and have the ability to learn new technology.
Those employees that will require significant job training should indicate a willingness to stay in the position for a good duration of time. Each hire should be a good fit for the team that is already in place, the article says.
When searching for K-12 IT job candidates it is the soft skills that count: being able to collaborate with and listen to educators, understanding the education industry and being able to learn new technology as it evolves are the most crucial traits an IT leader can possess.
Since edtech varies from district to district and state to state, it's unlikely that an IT candidate will be up-to-speed on the current system in use. Alabama solves this problem by offering the Alabama Chief Technology Officer certification program.
It is critical for those in K-12 IT leadership to understand the unique customer service needs of the education industry. When technology doesn’t work, it throws a wrench into an entire day of learning. Educators need a fast fix and responsive service. Effective tech leaders will delegate by teaming up with tech-savvy teachers who can serve as school tech leaders. This strategy allows for an on-site tech expert to step in to put out fires before the tech expert arrives.
Former teachers can also make strong chief technology officers because they understand both tech and education. This allows them to build trust with the staff, which is a critical component to launching new technology initiatives.