District Administration - April 2012 - (Page 34)

Success Breeds Success cio District Scott Smith, Chief Technology Officer, Mooresville (N.C.) Graded School District Jada Steele, a fifth grade student who recently moved to the district, shows CTO Scott Smith how quickly she has adapted to having a laptop for the first time. SCOTT SmiTh ONCE LEd EffOrTS for North Carolina’s technology educators, when he served as president of the N.C. Technology in Education Society (NCTiES), the state’s affiliate of the international Society for Technology in Education. Now, he is chief technology officer for the mooresville (N.C.) Graded School district—a suburban town located 20 miles north of Charlotte. it’s one of the only public school districts in the country to issue laptops to every student in grades 3-12. This “digital conversion” has seen outstanding results, including decreased dropouts and suspensions, increased attendance, and higher scores on end-of-course and endof-grade tests. The U.S. department of Education uses mooresville as a prime example of districts doing it right. The district is used to the attention; it has a monthly visiting day that includes 50 to 60 educators from across the nation. he also serves as an iSTE affiliate representative for NCTiES. 34 April 2012 DA: You joined the district in 2008, the beginning of the digital initiative. Smith: I’ve been here a little over a year, less than Superintendent Mark Edwards. He set the vision and decided that this is what we were going to do. I got here just in time to help do it. Describe what’s unique about being a CTO in Mooresville? Smith: I’m the technology guy, but I do probably as much curriculum and instruction-type work as I do technology. I really think that’s important, because the students are the reason we’re here, and curriculum and instruction is first and foremost. The technology is then just to support that. I really see my role as a curriculum leader first and a technology leader second. We have an executive director of secondary education, and then we have a director of elementary education. We work very closely together, especially given the fact that we’re in a digital environment. I understand that you have a background in teaching? Smith: My background is high school math and physics, and then my master’s is in instructional technology. I also have a doctorate in curriculum instruction. The kids in Mooresville are probably working totally differently than anywhere that you’ve worked before. Smith: Absolutely. It’s much different when you walk into a classroom and 30 kids open a textbook and all the information they have is what’s right there bound in front of them, versus when 30 kids come in, open a laptop, and have a window to the world of information. Here’s where my bias in my curriculum instruction side kicks in. Teachers can’t teach the same way they used to. You can’t manage a class and get kids to think critically and creatively and to think about collaboration if you don’t embrace the tools that they have at their fingertips. They’re becoming facilitators of instruction. How have you created these facilitators of instruction? Smith: Part of my role on the curriculum side is to work with our curriculum director, our facilitators, our principals and our teachers about what that looks like and, then, how we evaluate it. Part of my job is doing classroom walkthroughs. Not many tech directors do that. We’re a 21st-century district, and we have the digital tools and resources; we need to be using them to the best of our ability. Part of my job is to help teachers and administrators move into that environment. It’s a process, and I’m certainly no expert on it. But I know enough to say, “Why don’t you think about doing it this way?” or “That was a great example of using a discussion forum to have students give feedback. We need to share that with other folks.” I typically do the walkthroughs with District Administration

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - April 2012

District Administration - April 2012
Contents
From the Editor
News Update
Special Ed Update
Facilities Update
District Profile
Administrator Profile
Robust and Safe BYOD
Success Breeds Success
Funding Building Projects in a Tough Economy
Widening Participation to an IB Education
Why All the Chatter about #EdChat?
Supervisor’s Opinion
Going Mobile
New Directions
Crisis Response
Student Counsel
Product Focus
Online Edge

District Administration - April 2012

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