It was great to attend the final OASBO ICT meeting of the 15/16 school year yesterday. It was my first meeting in quite some time and it was great to feel the friendship, passion, and energy in the room – such a strong sense of team and professionalism.
To me though, this particular meeting seemed to be a marker in time as the close of this school year brings change. Three members of the ICT family are retiring: Greg Elliott, Ron Plaizier and Wayne Toms.
Greg Ron Wayne
These IT leaders are exemplary professionals who have provided leadership, guidance, mentoring, visioning, problem solving and openly learned while forging a strong and vibrant ICT family in the Ontario K-12 education space.
Congratulations to all of you. I wish you a long and happy retirement. Please don’t stray too far from our IT/ICT family!!!
Working in education is a great place to be. In many respects, we have more opportunities than ever before. Consider all that is before us: curriculum requirements, improved achievement scores, literacy, digital citizenship, the role of technology, integration of technology, web 2.0 tools for learning, the changing role of the library, content filtering, the many forms of elearning, use of smart phones, content delivery, social networking, equity and inclusion, funding, sustainability, infrastructure, sufficient staffing levels, user generated content, engaged learners, teacher training and best classroom practice. This is by no means a complete list, but gives a good idea of the complexity of challenges that all educational institutions are grappling with.
One of the key points to ponder in my mind, is the notion of systemic change. Every educational organization has a complicated landscape of successes, excellence, innovation, broken fronts and perhaps some failures. How do we capture all of the right aspects of the many educational ingredients I listed above and mould them into a plan for systemic change to benefit all students?
In my role as a K-12 CIO, I am actively engaged in analyzing and developing strategies to align our IT planning with the learning agenda in a sustainable and progressive manner that will give us the best of 21st century learning and support systemic change for improved learning. While this topic will be the main theme of my blog, I will write about educational technology in broader terms as well as other personal interests.