In an industry where funding and standardization affect day-to-day operations, schools face many critical issues, including technology.
Regardless of the constraints faced, an IT project manager will bring together teams of stakeholders to reach a common goal. The work involves specific skills, including:
- defining the scope and sequence,
- establishing a timeline,
- identifying stakeholders,
- establishing a budget,
- setting a schedule
- delegating tasks, and
- communicating through the project life.
Now, IT Project Managers are taking their skills to a new level and impacting the education industry. Like any business, schools need the skills of someone who can help them achieve long-range goals by coordinating every aspect of project management.
Technology’s Role in Education
Technology has been a mainstay in education for decades. However, districts across the nation experience diverse levels of ed-tech inclusion, from their networks to the devices available to teachers and students.
Education Technology concerns include:
- Safety and privacy for students. Teachers and students download third-party apps that may compromise safety.
- Replacing quality instruction with entertainment. The blue screen is a distraction for many students. Additionally, students using only technology score 11% percent lower on exams.
- Access to current tech devices. IT Project managers must devise a replacement schedule for outdated or irreparable devices.
Rolling out any information technology project in education can be a challenge but doing it correctly can change the trajectory of your institution.
In fact, IT project managers are already profoundly impacting three areas in education.
IT Project Managers Impacting the Education Field
IT project managers may find themselves working in one of three sectors.
- Public Schools Public schools need to be faster in embracing change, and IT project managers can help them with their agility. While teachers and administrators focus on instruction, IT project managers coordinate the technology tools that support every aspect of the instruction, including:
- materials and resources
- instructional delivery
- data collection and analysis.
- Charter Schools Charter schools are also public schools. A charter school may be part of a larger district, or a charter like IDEA or KIPP could include schools located over a vast geographic area. Still, their advantage is that they operate with fewer restraints and more opportunities for flexibility. However, their needs are similar to the needs of any public school.
- Higher Education Colleges and universities often launch simultaneous projects involving diverse departments. Many times, getting started is the most challenging aspect of the process. An IT project manager can help higher education take the steps toward greater data maturity.
IT project managers make a difference in education at every level by being an integral part of the technology process. PMs bring together all stakeholders in an effort to lead everyone to success.
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