Guest author Michael Kuhrt, Superintendent, Wichita Falls ISD: Way back in the 1900's, there were two silos in most school districts: Curriculum and Technology. The former focused on the teaching and learning process and the latter with the business, data, and network processes. They existed in virtual isolation, outside of the occasional data dig for student performance results. Today, however, their interdependence is almost unrecognizable. If there is a curricular initiative that does not involve a digital component, I would question the rationale. If there is a technology-related plan without a focus on student engagement, I would question the expenditures. If there is a professional development opportunity for teachers that does not involve making learning visible or publishing for a worldwide audience, then I would question the methodology. Whether you call it technology-infused instruction or instructional technology, in the connected classrooms of the 21st century, both components are required.
Curriculum specialists should know and be able to support all facets of a teacher's instructional design needs. This includes curriculum expertise along side technology-infused instructional strategies. Technology specialists should have the instructional design background to bring life to traditional lessons. Often, the two sides should come together to facilitate and model instructional strategies in teacher focused professional development. If your curricular staff is not housed in the same building as the instructional tech staff, or under the same leadership on the organizational chart, then it might be time to make some changes. Otherwise, the C&I director had better have lunch quite often with the technology director as their staff should be interconnected and planning for all aspects of student performance and teacher capacity building.