Databus Issue: 2008 2 07/17/2008
CETPA 2008 Conference PrimerWarren Williams President
Moving the Organization Forward in Tight Budget Times PDF
As school districts around the state are taking draconian measures to meet budget reduction goals, CETPA is working on a conference strategy to assist schools, districts and county offices to utilize technology to mitigate the impact of such cuts. Technology can be used to help maintain the delivery of services despite personnel and budget reductions. Programs can monitor and maintain environmental systems to reduce costly monthly bills. Technology can reduce the dependence on expensive resources like paper. Green computers and printers can significantly reduce power costs. Video monitoring systems provide 7/24 surveillance and reduce vandalism, improve safety and allow for reductions in security staff. These are just a few of the examples of how technology can assist organizations in meeting their educational goals while budgets are reduced.
The Sacramento conference will use its “The Time Is Now” theme to provide attendees a host of strategies and solutions that a technology manager can use to improve efficiency in their agencies as personnel and operating budgets suffer significant budget reductions. CETPA vendors will be encouraged to display and highlight solutions that CTO’s can take back to their organizations to outline to cabinets and superintendents proposals for maintaining organizational goals and mission despite the loss of revenue. Technology managers will benefit from the most robust speaker program ever to garner information about how technology can be the central component is an agency’s struggle to maintain operations. With most districts cutting travel expenses, they need to consider that attendance at the CETPA conference will help inform their technology staff in proven techniques and systems that can assist educational institutions through tight budget times.
CETPA will convene a number of round-table discussions with educators, technology staff, vendors and state level employees to discourse ideas for cost effective solutions. These peer-to-peer sessions will permit attendees to explore real world solutions for operational reduction scenarios. They will provide ammunition and best practice information that technology managers can use to prevent reductions in technology staff at their agencies. Superintendents and cabinet level administrators will receive from the attendee concrete strategies on how technology innovation and implementations can actually save significant budget outlays.
The impact of teacher reductions on the classroom causes the most concern for educators and a public that demands the best learning environment possible for its students. New technologies can actually amplify current educational best practices and bring additional resources to teachers without any additional expenditure. Online instruction can save the requirement for districts to invest in new construction. Internet based tools like blogs, wikis, RSS feeds and others provided by the K12 HSN initiative will permit collaboration statewide without costly travel. This new suite of tools brings to the teacher a collection of strategies to engage students and offers a great potential for improving instruction.
CETPA will focus on proven strategies for technology leaders to bolster their opportunity for the implementation of cost saving proposals. The conference will stress the importance of utilizing online conference opportunities to provide staff development that can improve an organization’s operational effectiveness. Sessions will address the need to keep skill sets as current as possible so that employees can accommodate new technologies that benefit the organization. Attendance at sessions that deal with decision-making and organizational change will strengthen a leader’s ability to provide creative approaches to maximizing budget outlays. Advice will be offered on the optimal way to form long lasting relationships with partner districts and vendor organizations. Vendors will be encouraged to deliver outside-the-box proposals for assisting schools maintain their important missions. Higher education can provide concrete advice on establishing long term partnerships with colleges and universities to improve the delivery of educational services to entire K-12 community.
Many ideas will address delivering better service while reducing expenditures.
- Consider moving from a textbook based orientation to a technology based orientation.
- Consider reducing instructional supplies by moving to virtual instruction.
- Consider longer term refresh cycles while implementing “single computer-multiple student” dynamics.
- Consider the creation of reliable, permanent and consistent funding for technology thereby escaping boom or bust cycles.
- Consider creating classrooms that utilize student-based technology for learning: iPods, blogs, wikis, MySpace and other contemporary resources that are essentially free.
- Consider connecting home to school with broadband technologies.
Corporate America has recreated itself into a virtual existence. Xerox has saved forty percent of its travel and meeting budget by holding meetings online. IT managers can produce such dramatic results in educational settings. K12 HSN will demonstrate how ideas like this can propagate across K12 education. The expanded technology center at this year’s conference will showcase multiple interconnected systems and technologies that can expand the reach of administrators and teachers to the benefit of all students using existing or reduced budgets. CoSN will partner with CETPA to provide essential tools that will provide IT professionals with an analytical process for determining the value of systems and operations for organizations. Those outdated and cost-ineffective practices can then be eliminated, saving countless dollars for schools. The Gartner Group reports that the effective use of technology can dramatically reduce costs. At this year’s CETPA conference, a broad based effort will put in the hands of Educational Technologists substantive ideas for strategies to help move their organizations forward while experiencing budget reductions.