Establishment of Position and Initial Job Description
The function and responsibilities of the Technology Director for Konawa Public School were established by Larry Mays, Superintendent, in 2002. At that time, the district employed two persons who shared the duties; the Technology Director and an Elementary School Computer Coordinator. The Director’s job function was:
- To Coordinate and administer the District Technology Plan.
- To develop a cadre of school level technology leaders who will help implement the Plan.
- To train and support staff in the integration of educational technology skills into the curriculum and to help teachers obtain, learn, and use educational technology resources to improve their instructional effectiveness.
- To serve as the liaison between teachers and administrators for technology issues.
Numerous performance responsibilities were defined to clarify the role of the Technology Director and to be used as an evaluation rubric. The initial responsibilities established that the Director were:
- Provide the leadership for the development and implementation of the District Technology Plan.
- Chair the District Technology Planning Committee which shall meet at least once per year and write a new plan every third year.
- Remain technically competent and politically aware by attending training workshops, seminars, State Technology meetings, and conventions as approved by the Superintendent.
- Provide in-service help to staff on hardware and software issues. This includes visiting classrooms on request and giving demonstration lessons to pupils.
- Teach a high school level course on Web Publishing and Design.
- Make recommendations to teachers, Principals, and support personnel prior to the purchasing and use of computers and other technological devices.
- Maintain records of equipment and resources. Develop a district-wide software inventory.
- Assist in the setup and software installation of new equipment.
- Perform basic trouble-shooting and maintenance work. Determine whether a problem needs outside help or can be fixed in-house.
- Enter and maintain student, staff, and library patron accounts on file servers.
- Develop and maintain a list of resource persons, develop contacts with vendors, and utilize support services to maintain the district’s investment in software and network services. The Coordinator will serve as the District’s contact person with vendors of district-adopted software and services.
Terms of Employment for the Technology Director were established as:
- Salary as determined by the Superintendent.
- Workday/Workweek as established by the Superintendent.
The Technology Director’s performance was to be evaluated annually by the Superintendent based upon the job description stated above.
Increase in Duties
Since 2002 and 2010 the duties of the Technology Director expanded and new functions and responsibilities were added:
- Sole responsibility—the position of Elementary Computer Coordinator was eliminated in 2003 when she became Elementary Principal and elected not to fill her Coordinator position with a replacement. As a result, the number of teachers supported and the number of computers to be maintained by the Director approximately doubled. During the same period, the elementary staff adopted a number of technology based strategies (Accelerated Reader, Reading Plus, Dibbles Testing) that required additional support time and frequent trouble-shooting.
- WAVE—the Oklahoma Legislature required that the student information and accounting systems of all public schools be connected to Oklahoma State Department of Education servers. Since Oklahoma was the first state in the US to implement this communication strategy, a great deal of training and time was required to bring the system on line. On-going updates and maintenance are also necessary. The Technology Director has had to serve as a liaison between the OSDE, the software development vendor and school employees who enter and utilize the shared information. (Update 2012: since moving to a web-based student information system, the burden of updating and backups for this data has been handed to the vendor).
- State Mandated Testing—the OSDE began on-line testing of student in 2006 and expects all tests to be administered on-line by 2009. Separate vendors have been awarded contracts for End of Instruction and Criterion Referenced Tests so the training sessions and installation procedures are separate for each type of test. This doubles the time required of the Technology Director in setting up and monitoring tests. Test related responsibilities will only increase over time.
- Technology Plan—in recent years the nature of the technology plan has become much more rigorous as the district’s technology goals have become more ambitious and the federal government as imposed No Child Left Behind requirements on district plans. The frequency of reviewing, updating, and revising the plan has increased. In an effort to fund technology goals, the director has also invested much time and energy in writing the district’s Title IID grant proposal.
- Help Desk—as the number of applications used by teachers and students has increased, so has the time required by the Director in assisting users with problems. In addition to answering questions and trouble-shooting problems, the Director has also been required to assist with a variety of projects: from the problem-laden time clock system (attached to network and servers) to the digital marquee.
- Computer Labs—while the elementary school employs two persons to monitor and assist in the two elementary computer labs, there is no such help available in the middle school or high school. Therefore it has fallen unto the Directors responsibility to schedule time in the labs and to maintain and repair the lab computers. The mobile lab must be delivered to the scheduled teacher’s classroom each morning and returned to a secure area each evening.
- Teaching Assignment—when one of our mathematics teachers resigned in 2005, the decision was made to replace her with a coach. This replacement strategy meant that fewer math courses could be taught because of these coaching duties so I was assigned to teach math classes in addition to my other duties. I have been teaching one to three math classes since that time in addition to my other duties. What was said to be a temporary solution has become a permanent one.
As of 2016, the role of Technology Director encompasses the following:
- Planning – The Technology Planning Committee rewrite the district’s Technology Plan each year, updating the plan with prior goals accomplished, prior goals remaining, needs assessment, and future goals of the district. A significant part of planning is the strategic matching technologies available to the needs assessed for the district. For example: we recently became a Google Apps for Education school in order to facilitate better communication and collaboration between administration, faculty, staff, students, and patrons while also lowering costs matching the district’s constraints.
- E-Rate – Inventories, surveys, RFPs, bid evaluations, acceptance, overseeing installations, and coordinating vendor schedules
- Professional Development – Presentations during Pre-Service and In-Service for teachers and staff in use of email, applications, file storage, web publishing, and use of technology tools deployed by the district.
- Web Site Development and Maintenance – account management for users, page and link structure for the site reflecting the current faculty and staff members’ roles and responsibilities
- Services – support of printers, interactive whiteboards, scanners and other peripherals. Assisting in use of applications, email, file storage, classroom management, calendar, and other online services
- Scheduling – some of the events which require scheduling strategies are:
- improvement projects of updating or refreshing network infrastructure, computers, and peripherals
- the use of labs and mobile equipment
- professional development trainers and workshops
- Servers – the current goals of the district include minimizing the dependence upon internal servers by adopting on-line (cloud based) services to the greatest extent possible while maintaining security. This move makes it possible for the district to reduce costs of:
- equipment updates and refreshes
- backup strategies
- space and cooling
- Testing – installation of clients or other software as required by the OSDE and testing vendors to accomidate state mandated testing
- Teaching – student course offerings currently include two sections of Computer Science 1, one section of Computer Science 2, and one section of Computer / Technology for middle school. Konawa is one of the few, but increasing number of schools in Oklahoma to offer computer science classes.