While school closures caused by a pandemic can force schools into hastily establishing a program that offers a mobile device for every student, schools will see multiple benefits by thoughtfully planning a digital learning program, including:
- Increased student engagement and achievement
- Increased equity
- Increased student career and college readiness
- Increased communication with students and families
School technology leaders have a unique role which impacts almost all school programs. Not only does the IT leader need to have an understanding of technology hardware, software, networks, systems, etc., an IT leader must also have an understanding of teaching and learning, communications, data systems, finances, equity, and the community they serve.
A school technology leader must also be a collaborator and team player. According to the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) 2019 IT Leadership Survey, the top three challenges faced by IT leaders are budget, professional development, and breaking down silos. A large majority of respondents to the 2019 survey also identified the need to address the homework gap, which is especially critical during a time of school closures.
Acknowledging that the role of the school IT leader varies significantly due to factors such as school size and technical and professional skills, the IT leader must engage personnel with the appropriate skills for conducting the needs assessment, project planning, and implementation, including logistics.
Conduct a Needs Assessment
Family Communications and Engagement