My seven years in the education technology space isn’t much compared to the experience of many (you know who you are). But as I make plans to return this summer to Philadelphia, the scene of my first ISTE conference, in 2005, I feel old. I recall the same tired promises and arguments that have been bandied about year after year: a computer for every child! Tackle the digital divide! NCLB! (By the way, how’s that 2014 proficiency deadline looking?)
While plenty has changed since then, this nagging feeling that students remain unprepared as digital citizens has not. This sentiment is one of the reasons for the SchoolCIO Summit, a new event to be hosted by Tech&Learning in Trenton in September. We will be inviting a small group of visionary CIOs, superintendents, and other district leaders to join us to strategize about the most urgent topics facing school leaders today. We hope to refocus those redundant conversations by giving them a fresh perspective: instead of one-to-one, what about “always on access”? Instead of the digital divide, what about “high-tech vo-techs”? And NCLB? We might just leave that alone for the moment.
From this meeting we hope to create a manifesto of sorts—a list of precepts districts can use to reshape policy and disrupt the status quo. Before we meet in person this fall, we will be laying the groundwork at schoolcio.com. What do you feel are the most significant problems? How do you think that these problems could be tackled better? Join the conversation there.