Ending the Range Wars: Collaborative Technology Planning and Policy-Making

The best technology policies are ones developed by a wide range of stakeholders. Learn how collaborative planning and policy setting, getting touch with your “inner techie,” and establishing an effective advisory committee make good decisions related to technology implementations more likely.

1. The participant will understand the problems associated with technology plans and policies not collaboratively produced.
2. The participant will learn the requirements of an effective technology advisory committee.
3. The participant will understand the power of a committee voice as opposed to a single individual when advocating for technology use and recognize how group decisions are usually better than those made by a single individual.

Written comments about this presentation:
  • I thoroughly enjoyed your workshop titled Ending the Range Wars. This just suits me perfectly as I am new in my position and finding out that this dilemma is here to stay. I’ve gotten great ideas from your presentation that will help me greatly in the new school year. You’ve given me a great starting point to plan for next year regarding our tech advisory committee. Thanks a million!






A good policy for good policies
Advisory Advice
Librarians are from Venus; technologists are from Mars
Keep your techs by keeping them happy
Problem or dilemma?
Who should be running your technology department?

From Machines are the easy part; People are the hard part (free download)

27. A policy mantra.
Every now and again I hear: “I can’t do that because our technician said I couldn’t.” Which usually surprises me as Technology Director since I could not remember having made such a decision. It’s at this point I have to ask that teacher or administrator to repeat our policy mantra:
Technicians do not make policy. Technicians do not make policy. Technicians do not make policy.
Policies and rules regarding technology use should come from educators, not technologists. Of course, smart educators will get lots of input from their techies before making policy.

28. Keep technicians and paraprofessionals in the loop.
OK, let’s be fair here. I just wrote:
“Policies and rules regarding technology use should come from educators, not technologists.”
The corollary to this is that smart educators will make sure technicians and paraprofessionals understand the important role they play in the educational process as well. Such an understanding helps these folks prioritize their often-overwhelming workload. It helps them make good technical decisions. It helps give them job satisfaction that their paychecks probably do not.

When a NASA custodian was once asked what his job was, he replied, “To put a man on the moon.”

What would your techs say their jobs were?