DAILY INSIGHT: The technology quick fix

By Steve Young, CIO Advisor

After the marathon season of conferences and presentations, I have succumbed to an unexpected mid-summer illness. Maybe this was a random occurrence or my body’s way of letting me know you have been pushing too hard too fast for a while.

All the presentations I have given and the conferences, meetings, and seminars I have attended speak to my need to learn and share with others, as well as the need for those of us in the technology world to try to get some feeling that we are somehow keeping up with the monumental shifts that technology is bringing to education and elsewhere. I have learned a lot and then again I have learned that there are a host of great tools and technologies out there, and they are getting better every day. But I have also never been so clearly a believer that, as these technologies improve, they will somehow transform an under-performing school or teacher into the best of their breed.

The more I see great presentations on new technologies, systems, and devices, the more I worry that these are often bought as a quick fix for low performance, bad leadership, or other struggles that school systems and teachers face.

Yes, many of these incredible technologies have great promise—but as school IT leaders we must always be willing to have tough conversations with those we work with about making sure that these technologies are brought in not as a fix for bad teaching or leadership, but as a way to make great teachers and even better teachers. Really, that is the only way that these technologies can help schools excel in the long term.

Steve Young is CTO of Judson ISD in Texas and founder of the San Antonio Area Technology Directors group. He blogs at CTO Technotes, where this is cross posted. Follow him on Twitter as @atemyshorts.