School Board Members
A boards role is to set a clear course.
If board members believe that the Information Age is real, then they need to convince the community that, to be successful in the future, kids will need to begin learning how to obtain and use information (not technology) at a much more rapid rate.
Once that is accomplished, the board should focus on top-level priorities to get the job done.
Top priorities for school board members include:
Work with other members of your board and administration to create a solid, long-term plan that recognizes that implementing technology is an ongoing process and not a one-time event.
Need to Preplan
Before going forward with a technology plan, your board and superintendent should prepare a clear set of guidelines that address the following issues:
Organize and empower a district technology planning team, which should include a board member and teachers and administrators from each of the districts buildings, subjects, and grade levels.
Develop guiding documents for technology. The first document should be a philosophy statement that identifies ideas, values, and opinions related to the power of technology as a teaching and learning tool, and how technology can support the districts more general mission statement. The mission statement, which encapsulates the longer philosophy statement, communicates to all publics the potential of technology-based learning. The third document includes a series of goal statements that identify student outcomes. You and your board should use the documents continuously when making decisions concerning emerging technologies and not let them gather dust on the shelf.
Develop the long-range technology plan.
Request periodic reports from the technology planning committee and may also want to support the use of consultants to construct or review the plan.
Approve the plan.
Also, be sure that district staff, parents, students, businesses, and community members are informed about the plan.
Once your board has formally adopted the technology plan, you will need to see that it is update periodically and modified when appropriate.
Keep the plan a regular agenda item, and be sure one board member remains on the technology planning committee.
How does the school board's role relate to that of the superintendent?
The school boards role is to govern, not administer, the school district. Effective school boards concentrate their time and energy on determining what it is schools should accomplish and developing policies to carry out these goals. They avoid day-to-day administrative questions except to ensure through the superintendent that the administration of the school is effective and efficient, and that it reflects the policies established by the board.
"Policy setting and the day-to-day management are two distinctly separate areas of responsibility within the educational structure. However, one cannot operate effectively without the other. The relationship between the two is similar to that between a pilot and navigator.
"In public schools, the board plays the role of navigator. As captain of the ship, it sets the course (direction or goal to be achieved). The superintendent plays the role of the pilot - steers the ship, operating the controls and assisting in piloting the course that has been set by the board."
Role of the Superintendent of Schools in Technology Change
The superintendent should solidify the vision and financial commitment, ensure a uniform, district-wide approach both to purpose and construction
Role of the Principal in Technology Planning
One of the principals key tasks in managing technology-based change is to bring into focus a vision of what the school will be with the technology in place, then move the school from where it is to that state.
Lead the efforts to determine the instructional, technology plans at the school-site, keep local parties informed, reach consensus about the plan at the school and district levels.
Superintendent and Principal Leadership in Technology Planning
Role of the District Business Manager in Technology Planning
Budgeting the components, locating and negotiating with suppliers, administering grants and other specified-use funds for technology. Encouraging alignment along vendors: appoint the software vendor as the general contractor for the first year of the project and subcontracting the hardware and cabling.
Role of the District Manager of Information Systems in Technology Planning
Provide technical expertise to recommend equipment that will mesh with the districts budget and instructional goals. Work with technical vendors. Maintenance and upgrading of system and its parts.
"A Framework for Managing IT Enabled Change", Robert I. Benjamin and Eliot Levinson, Sloan Management Review, Summer, 1993.
Role of Principal in Technology Integration http://mvhs1.mbhs.edu/~mvhsmail/archive.umd/
Maryland Virtual High School of Science and Mathematics
Educating Your Board of Education, Electronic Learning, February 1992.
A Focus on Technology, NSBA Becoming a Better Board Member.
In this Module:
|Strategic Planning Tools||Technology Planning Tools||Planning Resources|
In the Toolkit:
|Toolkit Home Page||Why Change?||Why Technology?|
|Planning||Policy||Curriculum and Assessment|
|Community Involvement||Facility Planning||Funding|
|Prof'l and Ldrship Development|