Educational Technology Component Group Update

by Mark Diehl, Director of Information & Technology Services, Little Falls Community Schools and Josh Swanson, Assistant Superintendent, Eden Prairie Schools

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Technology is playing a more important role than ever before in how school districts across the state function. Every area within districts is now infused with technology. To name a few: classrooms, the office, cafeterias, transportation, maintenance, and finance. All areas are utilizing technology to improve effectiveness and efficiency as we educate children. The result is a safer, more comfortable, more efficient, more engaging, more connected, and more personalized learning environment for our students, families, and staff. The role of technology leader in a school district has evolved and it requires the person to understand the needs of the entire district to serve all stakeholders effectively.

This raises a question; how can a school district provide the technology leader with the professional support that is needed to meet the ever increasing demands on the position? One very good option is to provide that leader with an MASA membership in the Technology Component Group.

MASA membership provides a variety of opportunities for technology leaders to participate in professional networks, mentorship, and professional development. The membership also provides avenues to engage in leadership at the local, regional, and state level. The component group members support growth opportunities in technology, education, and leadership. MASA’s technology component group members can also get involved in designing professional development, engaging in district and regional collaboration, MASA committee work, and on the Google+ community “MASA Tech.” This community provides instant access to top Educational Technology Leaders around the state. Being a member will make your technology leader a more informed leader in your district.

In 2014-15 the Technology Component Group had a very busy year. Here are a few things the group accomplished:

  • Developed a large body of leaders who can lead and mobilize around issues related to educational technology (Almost 60 members in our first year)
  • Influenced the MASA strategic plan
  • Served on committees that created the 2014-15 MASA political platform
  • Presented at both the Fall and Spring MASA conferences
  • Created a separate strand for Ed Tech Leaders at the Spring Conference
  • Testified for both the Senate and House Education Committees
  • Influenced bills in both the house and senate that will move the goal of data portability in our state forward
  • Organized a legislative lobbying day at the Capitol
  • Created conversations across the state among educational technology leaders and superintendents about the role of technology leaders in education
  • Hosted meetings and luncheons to gather input from members and foster professional and personal relationships among colleagues
  • Created a Google Community to share the work of the organization and its members
  • Began a partnership with the CLM group to co-plan the CLM 2015 conference
  • Generated a pool of talented Ed Tech Leaders who are willing to serve as mentors to new leaders in the field

In the spirit of continuous improvement, we are engaged in steps to strengthen MASA and our component group. We feel our association provides significant value and a strong professional community for members. If you have not already established a membership for your district’s technology leader please consider the opportunity. Together we can all serve as a leading voice for education.

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