It occurred to me in this session at the a16z Tech Summit last year that there is a parallel between CIO (Chief Information Officer) and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) relationship in business and the IT manager and teacher relationship in schools. Historically, the two roles, CIO/IT managing tech and data on one side and CMO/teacher facing the “customer” on the other, have been at odds.
Business is redefining the relationship, recognizing that the the CIO and CMO have more in common than not. It was this session that convinced me education needs to rethink the relationship, too. At Mulgrave School, where I work, that means transforming the IT department from a maintenance team to a creative team of coders and developers working directly with teachers to come up with creative technical solutions for classroom problems. I see IT writing code to connect, say Twitter and SIS APIs, or writing script for a Google sheet crunching data gathered from students in different cities, or developing mobile apps for particular courses. Ultimately, my role of Director of Educational Technology should be replaced–and expanded–by the IT team.