CoSN Annual Conference 2010, Pre-Conference

by Jean Tower

I am attending the Annual CoSN conference with a colleague. For our pre-conference session we attended “Bootcamp for School District Technology Leaders/CTOs.”

O.K., you are the person in charge of technology at your school district. What are the essential skills that you need in order to succeed? Where do you turn to continuously expand your knowledge base? According to the consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the responsibilities of the CIO/CTO in all industry sectors have moved from being largely technical to being mainly strategic (leadership and management, fiscal management, organization and culture skills, and business skills). Yet, in the education sector, these are new trends and few people have the broad set of skills needed to provide strategic technology leadership within their school district. The task of identifying and developing essential skills for CTOs, a relatively new hybrid position in schools, is critical. While the responsibilities of the district technology leader/CTO vary by district, the Consortium for School Networking has developed a Framework of Essential Skills for CTOs. Take a self assessment and see your strengths and areas that need attention.

Ed Zaiontz, Executive Director, Information Services, Round Rock ISD, Round Rock, TX

The session lived up to its description. We met Technology Directors/CTOs from all over the country, from districts as small as 1800 students to 40,000 students. What I noticed is that we all deal with very similar challenges in our roles in schools. One of the best parts of attending this conference is the networking – making connections, meeting peers, and exchanging tips and strategies. I’m looking forward to the first keynote this morning.

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