Mike Daugherty is the director of technology for a high-achieving public school district in Ohio, an occasional contributor to AATT (see his last post, 5 Things You Need to Know About 3D Printing), and the author of Modern EdTech Leadership, a discussion on how today’s administrators handle the blending of tech and ed. I asked him if he could distill this profile into bite-size chunks, consumable over coffee or between classes. Here’s what he came up with:
Handling the technology needs of a public school system can be a daunting task at times. Online testing, BYOD, 1:1 computing, and assistive technology are only a handful of the variety of technical challenges that flow through the department every day. In my experience, truly successful technology teams possess the eight key characteristics outlined below. I discuss these and many more topics related to educational technology leadership at my website and in my new book, Modern EdTech Leadership.
- Responsive – Strong technology departments understand the importance of responding to teacher’s requests. Whether these are work orders or emails, a quick response is best. This doesn’t mean the department says yes to every wish or fixes every work order within minutes of a ticket being placed. It simply means they respond to the initial request as fast as possible by letting the teacher know when they can expect to receive help.
- Proactive – Instead of always reacting to issues, successful IT departments proactively attempt to identify potential problems and prevent them. This can be something as simple as monitoring the district infrastructure for trouble spots to meticulously going through an image before pushing it out to 300 machines. Well-built teams thoughtfully think through their plans to avoid future troubles.
- Diverse – A team made up of network engineers may not do very well helping a teacher design a lesson plan. On the flip side, a technology integrationist may not have the mindset needed to resolve a string of wireless issues plaguing the network. A successful tech team recognizes its member’s individual strengths and weaknesses. Issues are then assigned to the person(s) that is strong in that area. Larger conversations involve everyone on the team to ensure that all aspects of a project or problem are being addressed.