Learning from S. Korea: Importance of CIOs
11/1/2010 11:32 PM
I was intrigued by a comment at this morning’s opening keynotes at the Symposium in Korea by Gwang-Jo Kim, Director of UNESCO’s Bangkok Office (and former key official in S. Korea when they began their ICT in education efforts, including establishment of KERIS). He mentioned that one of the lessons to take away from the successful use of ICT in education from the Korean experience was the establishment of regional and local education authority CIOs.
Having been at numerous international meetings over the past decade, the focus on the importance of educational leaders in effective use of ICT is not new. In fact, it is generally a give-away line with little meant except that principals and other educational leaders need to support investment in technology.
But the explicit message that a new type of professional at a senior executive technology level in the local education agency is not one I have heard very often. Perhaps in the UK with their Grid for Learning and a few other places in the world, but generally CoSN’s message around the need for school district chief technology officers/CIOs seems to be a US-centric conversation. Yet, maybe we are actually on to a bigger, global theme.
I hope so. I don’t see how we are going to reimagine learning and harness the role of technology if we continue to keep thinking about ICT as a silo. We have to focus on how ICT can enable the enterprise of education, and that has to be a horizontal conversation with all education leaders.
Dr. Kim indicated that these “CIO’s” need to be knowledgeable about both technology AND education.
We also do need to do more work around the role of educational leaders to provide leadership on technology. In other words, what is the role of educational leaders-- superintendents, heads of curriculum and principals –