Saturday, January 30, 2010

District Technology Audit

I wanted to take a moment and share my experiences from the Technology Audit that I assisted with last week in MN. This was my first opportunity to help conduct an audit and I found it to be extremely beneficial for myself as well as the school district.

The process itself was extremely intense for all involved. Over the course of 36 hours we visited 6 schools, met with the various business teams (finance, HR, technology, facilities, transportation), multiple meetings with their cabinet, interviewed teachers, principals, parents and students and culminated with a 1.5 hour presentation on our findings and recommendations.

The people of WBL school district were extremely supportive of the process and open and honest. They shared the positives in their district related to technology while also addressing some of the areas of concern. This, along with our own findings, started to frame what our recommendations back to the cabinet would look like. We also spent time examining their organizational structure, interoperability of the systems in place, instructional use of technology (specifically staff training) and the overall health of their infrastructure.

The process itself was rewarding for me personally because it gave me a perspective of how things would look in my own district should we go through a similar process. I started reflecting on our strengths and our weaknesses. As we were interviewing teachers, I would find myself occasionally asking myself - how would teachers in my district respond if they were asked the same questions?

I honestly believe this process is something leading edge districts should strongly consider. Bringing in an outside group or personnel who do not have any ties in the district allows for an open and honest dialogue to take place about changes that need to occur.

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