The CIOs/CTOs role is not just about making sure the devices are working and educators are connected to the internet. CIOs/CTOs play an essential role in strategic planning and vision setting; understanding teacher and student needs for instructional materials and devices; determining internet and wireless access points; identifying key systems for data collection and assessment; and budgeting for technology. CIOs/CTOs must be included in the planning and discussions regarding adoption and implementation of instructional materials and online tools and services, in addition to plans for maintaining and expanding broadband access.
CoSN’s Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO offers CIOs/CTOs a practical model for ensuring that they have the appropriate skills to support learning in the digital age. The framework identifies 10 essential skills and is organized around three professional categories:
  • Leadership and vision
  • Understanding the educational environment
  • Managing technology and support resources
As part of the strategic planning and implementation process, CIOs/CTOs should connect with key leaders to ensure that all stakeholders understand the needs and requirements for implementing the district’s vision for student learning in a digital age. Leaders may include:
  • Chief Education Officer / Superintendent
  • Chief Academic Officer / Instructional Leaders
  • Instructional Materials Leader
  • Assessment and Data Leader
  • Digital Learning Leader
  • Chief Financial Officer or other Business Leader
  • Special Education Leader
  • Title I/II/III Leaders
  • CTE Leaders
  • Professional Learning Leader
As CIOs/CTOs meet with other key leaders, some of the discussion questions may include:
  • Will our content delivery system/learning management system support your goals?
  • Will our school/district have the technology capacity to deliver content efficiently and effectively?
  • Is the broadband infrastructure sufficient for robust simultaneous access for most users?
  • Do students have ubiquitous device access in school?
  • Do students and teachers have ubiquitous device access out of school?
  • Is Wi-Fi available on campus in all learning spaces?

Attaining Broadband District-Wide

Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools, Cresco, IA Howard Winneshiek Community Superintendent John Carver discusses how to bring a rural district to a place of connectivity district-wide.
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