From the Executive Director

 

Well, that was a year we will surely remember! The shut down back in March seems so far away, and yet the year went by so quickly. I know that we are all ready to put 2020 behind us, but as I look back on the past year and all the things that happened, it makes me appreciate the “superheroes” that we have in our members.

Last March, you turned on a dime to ramp up remote connections and distribute devices to your students so that learning could continue. You reconfigured your networks to allow for safe and secure remote access for staff and students. You scrambled to purchase more devices to prepare for the next school year. You created field support locations to provide needed break/fix and support services around your districts. You planned over the summer, amidst many uncertainties and ever-changing guidelines, how instruction would be delivered, and ultimately provided networks for both in-person and virtual learning just days before classes resumed. You implemented new applications to support online learning and rolled out thousands more devices (when you could get them) as school re-opened. And did I mention that you have been working non-stop for ten months? 

I hope that you were able to find some rest during the winter break and are returning to your vital role in supporting our schools refreshed and re-energized. And as you resume your work this winter, know that the Texas K-12 CTO Council continues to be here to support you. I am so proud of our organization and the ways in which we've been able to connect with our members throughout this ordeal. As we shut down last spring, we started weekly member support calls so we could stay in contact with each other and share our challenges. We have offered numerous free webinars on topics supporting the needs you identified during the pandemic and made them available to anyone who wanted to listen in. We collaborated with TEA on several webinars to help you with data privacy contract language and Schoology implementation. We moved all of our face-to-face events virtual, with great success and record attendance! We continue to provide our cohort trainings, including CETL certification, TLE certification, and our popular Cybersecurity Planning Workshop, to keep your skills honed as a tech leader. And we look forward to vaccine distribution and hosting a hybrid event this summer so that we can see each other face-to-face again!

We will continue to support you during this new year on timely topics. Now more than ever, it’s time to connect with your colleagues to share your challenges and successes. Now more than ever, you need your friends at Texas K-12 CTO Council. And we are here for you! Happy New Year!

Thank you for supporting the 3.5 Million students that our organization represents!

We are here for you!

Alice Owen, Ph.D., CAE, CETL

Governor Abbott, TEA, Dallas ISD Launch Operation Connectivity Statewide

May 8, 2020 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and Dallas Independent School District (DISD) today launched Operation Connectivity, a statewide initiative to deliver internet connectivity and device solutions for school districts, families, and students in Texas. Operation Connectivity was originally started in Dallas to address the the lack of high speed internet and/or home laptops for many DISD students which caused an interruption to their learning, as education in the classroom transitioned to at-home digital instruction due to COVID-19. This initiative now aims to provide internet connectivity to hundreds of thousands of students statewide. Read more.

Covid-19 Texas Public Schools

The Texas K-12 CTO Council Winter Summit will be held virtually on Friday, January 22, 2021, in conjunction with the virtual TASA MidWinter Conference. 

Register for Virtual Winter Summit here: https://www.texask12ctocouncil.org/events/virtual-winter-summit

Cybersecurity Planning Workshop (Virtual), February 10, 17, 24, 2021, 10:00 A.M.-12:00 Noon.

The Texas K-12 CTO Council will be hosting another workshop for Cybersecurity Planning to help you and your team members understand the new laws around cybersecurity and get you started on your cybersecurity plan. The workshop will be held over three session on February 10, 17, and 24, from 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 Noon. This will be a working session to provide you time to begin developing your plan and stay in compliance with the new legislation (SB 820 and HB 3834). We encourage you to sign up a team so you can work on these items together. Register here. 

COVID-19 EDTECH GUIDANCE & REMOTE LEARNING RESOURCES

CoSN

CoSN has a new resource on virtual learning for TX K-12 CTO and CoSN members, EdTech Guidance in the Age of COVID-19. This pandemic affects us all – so please feel free to share it with others who need it to serve their students and teachers. Our community is grateful for all the behind-the-scenes work that’s getting done for the greater good of learning.

 

Digital Bridge K-12 Helps Districts Address Home Learning Gaps

EducationSuperHighway, a national organization with the mission to upgrade internet access for all public schools, has recently launched Digital Bridge K-12: an initiative dedicated to helping school districts address the home learning gap. EducationSuperHighway has developed a number of resources to support states, as well as initial toolkit for school districts. The resource guide sets out best practices how to address the learning gap locally and examples for school districts to partner with their local telecommunications carrier or wireless provider to help connect students WiFi hotspots.  

Who We Are

The Texas K-12 CTO Council is the state chapter of the Consortium for School Networking [CoSN] and the premier organization for chief technology officers in Texas schools. The purpose of the organization is to assist Texas K-12 school districts in understanding how to plan for the use and successful implementation of information technology in Texas schools and advocate for districts’ technology needs to improve student learning.

Membership

Members benefit from a host of professional development opportunities and access to a network of K-12 EdTech experts.

Events

Through professional development, conferences, meetings, webinars, and study groups, Texas K-12 CTO Council gives members a variety of opportunities to connect.

Jobs

View the most comprehensive job board within the Texas K-12 EdTech industry.

Recent News

Check out the latest in Texas K-12 CTO Council news.