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Boot Camp for School District Technology LeadersCTOs


The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is located twenty-six ... Our district serves 33,000 students and has continued to increase ... with a fine tooth comb ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Boot Camp for School District Technology LeadersCTOs

  • Boot Camp for School District Technology
  • Robert Gravina
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Poway Unified School District, California
  • and
  • Ed Zaiontz
  • Executive Director, Information Services
  • Round Rock ISD, Texas

Poway Unified School District
  • The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is
    located twenty-six miles north of downtown San
    Diego. Our district serves 33,000 students and
    has continued to increase in the student
    enrollment each of the last twenty years. The
    student ethnic diversity in the district is 14
    percent Asian, 7 percent Filipino, 10 percent
    Hispanic, 3 percent African American, less than 1
    percent American Indian/Alaskan Native and
    Polynesian/Pacific Islander, 4 percent
    undeclared, and 61 percent White. We serve the
    City of Poway and the San Diego communities of
    Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, Carmel
    Mountain Ranch, Sabre Springs, Black Mountain
    Ranch, Torrey Highlands, 4S Ranch, and Santa Fe
    Valley. During the next three years, three new
    schools are planned for the west side of the
    district. The new schools will be equipped with
    the newest technology innovations as they are
    built. In addition, a Bond was passed in 2002 for
    198 million dollars to modernize 24 schools.
    This year an additional bond for 179 million was
    passed to continue with modernizing our schools.
    The funds will be used to install these new
    innovations at the existing schools in order to
    ensure equity for all schools across the district.

Job Responsibilities
  • You are now running from 4-6 small businesses
  • Computer repair shop, telephone maintenance,
    cable pullers, software development, network
    management, security, etc.
  • What are your responsibilities?
  • Intercoms, bells, fire alarms
  • Do you outsource any work?
  • Software development, fire alarm maintenance
  • What are your budget responsibilities?
  • Who works for you?

What did I get myself into?
  • Too small a staff
  • Too few resources
  • Not enough district influence (i.e. formal
  • No one understands the complexities of IT
  • This is a small job, you just have to….

(No Transcript)
Central Texas Area Growth
Leadership Vision
What it Takes The Essential Skills of K-12 CTOs
Planning Budgeting
Business Leadership (Customer Focus)
Strategic Results Process Results
Team Building Staffing
Process Management Bus. Leadership (Part
2) Systems Mgmt Communication Systems Education
Training Policies
Information Analysis
Core Values Skills
Leadership and Vision
  • Developing a shared vision and big-picture
    perspective on the districts goals
  • Playing a key role in district-wide planning and
    goal setting
  • Serving comfortably as a change agent and
    consensus builder
  • 2020 Vision

Develop Your Organization
  • Vision
  • Spend time early on with your team developing a
  • Come up with a short and sweet phrase that
    captures your vision
  • Providing Innovative Technology to Support the
    Learning Environment
  • Create an Organizational Chart

PUSD IT Vision
  • We are a team united and dedicated to provide
    reliable, innovative and dynamic technology
    through responsive customer service in support of
    the learning environment. As a nationally
    recognized Information Technology Department, we
    empower our students, parents, staff, and global
    educational community by delivering instant,
    secure access to accurate information and
    effective resources.

  • Our bottom line is learning
  • Focus on whats best for kids. That should always
    come first
  • Educational Technology is not like anything
    youve done before
  • Learn your trade
  • read, read, read
  • Professional journals, books, newspapers, etc.
  • Take courses if you need to
  • Attend conferences

Dont Micro-Manage
  • You wont have time
  • Trust your people
  • Develop leadership in them
  • Use a distributive leadership model
  • Spend a few months observing how things work
  • Dont change anything until you understand the

Business Leadership (Part 1)
  • Build positive relationships with internal and
    external partners
  • Internal Partners students, faculty staff,
    campus-based and central office administrators
  • External Partners parents, community members,
    including stakeholders who work for high-tech
    companies, technology vendors, and key people who
    may be in a position to support technology

Board Members
Media Specialists
Business Manager
Principals/Assistant Principals
District Administrators
Planning and Budgeting
  • Transforming the district vision for effective
    use of technology into a long-range plan
  • Beginning with strategic challenges and moving on
    to specific goals, objectives and action plans

  • Go through them with a fine tooth comb
  • Budget Development should follow your philosophy
    and vision
  • Know what you have and where it is
  • Become best friends with your CFO

History of Bond Elections
  • 1994 (99 M)
  • Elementary, Middle School, High School Prototypes
  • Voice, video, data infrastructure
  • Library PCs and PC in every classroom
  • 1997 (99 M -- 22 M for technology)
  • Voice, video, data infrastructure at all campuses
  • T1 wide area network infrastructure
  • Feasibility study for long-term WAN solution

History of Bond Elections (cont)
  • 2000 (199 M -- 38 M for technology)
  • Wireless COWS (200 16 3200)
  • Fiber WAN (10 M)
  • Technology refresh schedule
  • 2005 FAILED (349 M -- 38 M for technology)
  • Technology LRP Committee
  • Proposed HS 1-1 laptop solution

What does Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
mean… …and what has it got to do with a school
learning environment?
What Is TCO?
  • All costs associated with deploying, operating
    and maintaining a computer network
  • Analysis tool used by businesses since the
  • A method of understanding real costs to make good
    decisions on technology investments

A Simple School TCO Definition
Hardware (purchase or lease) Installation
Software Upgrades Technical Support
Outside Services Professional Development
User Self-Support Training Total Cost of
TCO Can Help Schools Meet Educational Goals by…
  • Tracking tech support
  • To minimize time computer and network is down
  • To minimize troubleshooting interruptions for
  • Tracking adequacy of professional development
  • To ensure teachers are prepared
  • To ensure teachers are integrating technology
    into the curriculum
  • Tracking pros and cons of various implementations
    and support strategies

The bottom line effective use of technology
The CoSN-Gartner TCO Tool
  • Developed by CoSN, Gartner and NCRTEC at North
    Central Regional Educational Laboratory
  • Supported financially by U.S. Department of
  • Gartners distributed computing TCO methodology
    for businesses modified for K-12 environment
  • 100 data points
  • Reviewed with eight school districts to date
  • Available at

Leadership Vision
What it Takes The Essential Skills of K-12 CTOs
Planning Budgeting
Business Leadership (Customer Focus)
Strategic Results Process Results
Team Building Staffing
Process Management Business Leadership Communicati
on Systems Systems Mgmt. Education
Training Policies
Information Analysis
Core Values Skills
  • Business Leadership (Part 2)
  • Systems Management
  • Communication Systems
  • Education Training
  • Ethics and Policies

Business Leadership (Part 2)
  • Advising on technology expenditures
  • Overseeing the selection of technology items
  • Reviewing requisitions for technology purchases
  • Exercising authority to approve, amend or reject
    purchases based on compatibility with district
    goals and needs

Systems Management
  • Overseeing day-to-day operation of the districts
    IT systems
  • Requiring project management and personal
    leadership skills
  • Requiring perpetual learning

  • Lessons Learned From
  • Round Rock ISDs
  • TCO Study

Communication Systems
  • Communicating with all members of the educational
  • Using technology-enhanced tools to support
    communication with stakeholders

Telling the Technology Story . . .
  • Public relations is a critical component of your
    districts successful technology implementation
  • and it involves communicating on an ongoing basis
    with the range of stakeholders inside and outside
    the district.

Telling the Technology Story includes
  • Articulating, to both internal and external
    stakeholders, a systemic vision for where the
    district is headed
  • Connecting with the media
  • Using an array of district communication vehicles
  • Planning for surprises and having a crisis
    management/ preparedness plan
  • Inviting parents and the community into your
  • Digital Stories Science Math
  • Keeping legislative partners and policy makers
  • ETAN Education Technology Action Network

Community Support Makes a Difference
Source Digital Leadership Divide, Grunwald
  • Advocacy Toolkit Making the Case for Educational

Education and Training
  • Overseeing district-wide, technology-related
    staff development efforts
  • From ensuring a sufficient budget through the
    implementation and assessment process

Professional Development - Things to Consider
  • Whether your investment will go to waste
  • Wasted time of those who DO understand computers
  • Wasted time when not in synch with installation
  • Bad choices made by under-trained technology

Incentives for Staff Development
  • Many states/districts offer…
  • tech training for initial licensure
  • incentives for teacher tech use
  • e.g. laptops, continuing education credits
  • incentives for principals and administrators to
    use technology

Ethics and Policies
  • Understanding the social, legal and ethical
    issues related to technology
  • Modeling responsible decision making with regard
    to these areas
  • Building consensus around key issues related to
    appropriate use of technology as well as
    communicating with all parties regarding what is
    expected of them

Team Building and Staffing
  • including a staffing strategy to support the
    technology plan as an integral part of strategic
    planning from the beginning
  • 1st Help Desk

Good to Great Jim Collins
  • Good is the enemy of great

First Who, then What
  • First, get the right people on the bus, and the
    wrong people off the bus
  • Then
  • Figure out what seat the right people fill best

Confront the Brutal Facts
  • Use measurable, documented information
  • Dont be afraid to show your team and others this
  • Maintain your confidence,
  • Listen to your team, dont go to Abilene
  • Never lose faith

The Stockdale Paradox
  • You must never confuse faith that you will
    prevail in the end - which you can never afford
    to lose - with the discipline to confront the
    most brutal facts of your current reality,
    whatever they might be
  • Admiral James Stockdale

The Hedgehog Concept
  • The Three Circles
  • What are you deeply passionate about
  • What can you be best in the world at
  • What drives your economic/learning engine

A Culture of Discipline
  • The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for
    incompetence and lack of discipline a problem
    that largely goes away if you have the right
    people in the first place. Most companies build
    their bureaucratic rules to manage the small
    percentage of wrong people on the bus, which in
    turn drives the right people away

Technology is an Accelerator
  • Technology will not make a bad school district
    great, nor will it make a good school district
  • If you district has a strong educational plan,
    technology will help to make it better (i.e. more
    efficient, more effective)
  • A good example of this has been the failed one to
    one laptop initiatives

The Flywheel
  • There is no single moment, or single initiative
    that will push you from good to great
  • It is a cumulative effect
  • And
  • Everyone has to be pushing in the same direction

Team Building Staffing
  • Start with two organizational charts
  • Necessary functions (e.g. data management,
    network support, professional development)
  • Current staffing and roles
  • Comparisons will identify gaps

Great teams require great leadership including
the ability to lead by example
Information Technology Services Organizational
Admin Asst
Office Specialist
Program Manager School Site Support
Program Manager Business Support Services
Program Manager Personnel Support Services
Program Manager Learning Support Services
Office Assistant ll
Technology Trainer
Supervisor Communication
Network Services Support Technician
LAN Coordinator
Cabling (2)
LANS (23)
Telecom Technicians (2)
Electrical Technicians (2)
System Administrator
System Engineer
System Engineer
System Engineer
Programmer Analyst II
System Administrator
System Administrator
System Administrators
Programmer Analyst III
Programmer Analyst I
Team Building Staffing
  • Strategies to consider
  • Succession plan team members who understand the
    larger picture
  • Professional growth opportunities chances for
    promotion within the team
  • Customer satisfaction surveys find out how the
    people you serve perceive your teams strengths
    and challenges

Team Building Staffing
  • Required skills and knowledge
  • Strong leadership skills and the ability to
    empower others to assume leadership roles
  • Skills at facilitating team building activities
    modeling examples of trust between department

Team Building Staffing
  • Required skills and knowledge
  • Ability to identify staff strengths and
    weaknesses and make effective hiring decisions
  • Strong communications skills and a commitment to
    keeping all parties informed about technology
    progress and choices

Information Management
  • Focusing on the crucial role information plays in
    todays schools
  • Utilizing the powerful data gathering abilities
    of digital age tools for strategic planning

Current Context
  • Data collection, analysis and reporting are
    critical components of No Child Left Behind
  • School districts must collect more data, in more
    detail and disaggregate them
  • State-level systems and support are being
    developed for collecting and integrating student
    assessment data with demographic information

National Education Technology Plan
Toward a New Golden Age in American Education
calls upon states, districts and schools to
  • Establish a plan to integrate data systems
  • Use data from both administrative and
    instructional systems to understand relationships
  • Ensure interoperability
  • Use assessment results to inform instruction

Moving Beyond the Mandate
  • The current environment is an opportunity to
  • Use data to transform teaching, learning and
  • Inform decisions about everything from class
    schedules to textbook reading levels to
    professional development budgets
  • Provide a rationale for decisions that parents,
    teachers, taxpayers and students can understand

Data-Driven Decision Making
A process of making choices based on appropriate
analysis of relevant information
CoSN Initiative Vision to Know and Do
  • Stages of data-driven decision making…
  • VISION planning for DDDM
  • KNOW implementation of systems and processes for
  • DO targeted interventions and their results

Leadership Vision
What it Takes The Essential Skills of K-12 CTOs
Planning Budgeting
Business Leadership (Customer Focus)
Strategic Results Process Results
Team Building Staffing
Process Management Business Leadership Communicati
on Systems Systems Mgmt. Education
Training Policies
Information Analysis
Core Values Skills
Essential Skills for the K-12 CTO
  • Core Values and Skills include a focus on…
  • Students and instruction
  • Continuous improvement
  • Managing for innovation
  • Data driven decision-making
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Results and creating value

Leading Change John Kotter
  • Eight (8) Step Process of Creating Major Change
  • Establishing a Sense of Urgency
  • Creating the Guiding Coalition
  • Developing a Vision and Strategy
  • Communicating the Change Vision
  • Empowering Broad-Based Action
  • Generating Short-Term Wins
  • Consolidating Gains and Producing More Change
  • Anchoring New Approaches in the Culture

Establishing a Sense of Urgency
  • The enemy of great is good
  • Allowing to much complacency
  • Push up the urgency level
  • Use the brutal facts
  • Buy in from management
  • Key players are middle and lower level
  • 75 of overall management must believe
  • Creating a crisis
  • Dont be tempted to skip this step

Creating the Guiding Coalition
  • Find the right members for the team
  • 1. Position and Power
  • 2. Expertise
  • 3. Credibility
  • 4. Leadership
  • Who not to have on your team
  • People with egos
  • Snakes
  • Build your team based on trust and a common goal

Developing a Vision and Strategy
  • An imaginable picture of the future
  • Desirable long term interests of employees and
  • Feasible
  • Focused and clear
  • Flexible
  • Easily communicated within five minutes

Communicating the Change Vision
  • A great visions…real power is unleashed only
    when most of those involved… have a common
    understanding of its goals and direction

  • Dont get lost in the clutter
  • Keep it jargon free, focused and simple
  • Use metaphors, analogies and examples
  • Over communicate
  • All managers must walk the talk
  • Listen
  • You dont want to go to Abilene

Empowering Broad-Based Action
  • Distributive Leadership
  • Great leaders remove structural barriers
  • This is truly the essence of our job
  • Training is critical
  • Build it into your budget and increase it every
  • Align system to the vision
  • HR practices should follow Good to Great

Generating Short-Term Wins
  • Provide evidence that sacrifices are worth it
  • Reward change agents with a pat on the back
  • Help fine tune vision and strategies
  • Undermine critics and self-serving resisters
  • Keep bosses on board
  • Build momentum

Generating Short-Term Wins, cont.
  • Planning vs. praying for results
  • Short term wins arent gimmicks either
  • Pressure isnt all bad

Consolidating Gains and Producing More Change
  • Resistance is always waiting to reassert itself
  • The nature of change is highly interdependent,
    especially in school systems
  • Stay the course

Anchoring New Approaches in the Culture
  • Culture is very powerful and has a powerful
    influence on behavior
  • Cultural change comes last, not first
  • Depends on results
  • Change becomes part of the culture if and only if
    it works
  • Requires a lot of talk
  • May involve turnover
  • Makes decisions on succession crucial
  • Promotion processes changed to be compatible with
    the new practices

Where is your organization in this process?
  • Have your team read and study the books together
  • Set time to discuss freely the concepts
  • Evaluate where you are in the change process
  • Reevaluate where you are in the change process

Discussion . . .

. . . and your questions
Contact Information
Robert Gravina Poway Unified School
District Phone 858-679-2515 E-mail Ed Zaiontz Round Rock
ISD Phone 512-464-5166 E-mail