District technology coordinator study

A few years back I did a nationwide study of district technology coordinators for NCREL, with help from CoSN and QED. Although our response rates were much lower than we hoped, those we did get were fairly representative of our sample and the nation at large. Some of the key findings of the study (360 respondents) were that:

  • nearly a fifth of the respondents had more than one formal title in their district (can you effectively do the job of tech coordinator as a part-time job?);
  • nearly a third of the respondents said that they were the only person providing technology support for their district (even in a small district, can one person effectively do the job of tech coordinator?);
  • although nearly all of the respondents were considered to be district-level employees, barely half were on an administrative contract (which raises issues related to power and authority);
  • rural technology coordinators made significantly less than their urban and suburban counterparts (thus raising recruitment and retention issues);
  • average salaries were lower than those paid by business and industry (again raising issues of recruitment and retention when competing against the corporate world for talented people);
  • respondents received, on average, a paltry 35 hours of training per year (and most of that was likely technical in nature, not leadership-oriented); and
  • large proportions said that they probably would leave for a job with the same responsibilites but better pay (59%) or a job with the same pay but fewer responsibilities (34%) (again raising recruitment and retention issues).
  • In addition to the report, I also wrote up a short article on this for Scholastic Administr@tor.

    Although the results are from 2003, my personal experience is that things haven't changed much. We have seen a trend, particularly in larger districts, toward more CTO-/CIO-like positions and/or hiring people with experience in business and industry.

    What do you think? Are these findings still relevant and/or important today?

    LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

    Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

    Getty Images
    Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

    No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

    Keep reading Show less

    4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

    In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

    (Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
    Politics & Current Affairs
    • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
    • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
    • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
    Keep reading Show less

    Why avoiding logical fallacies is an everyday superpower

    10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.

    Photo credit: Miguel Henriques on Unsplash
    Personal Growth
    • Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
    • Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
    • Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
    Keep reading Show less

    Why I wear my life on my skin

    For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

    • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
    • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
    • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
    Keep reading Show less