From the Executive Director
Dear TETL Members,
Welcome to March! As spring approaches and we reach the midpoint of the academic semester, I know everyone is incredibly busy with budget planning, scheduling, and online testing. All too often the structural work that goes into making these initiatives successful gets overlooked, but please know that we see you, we know the work you’re doing is important, and we appreciate you!
I'd like to give a big shout out to our Advocacy Committee, led by Mark Gabehart (Round Rock ISD) and Chris Cummings (Humble ISD), who are working tirelessly to ensure that our voices are heard at the Capitol. There is current legislation, S.B.1 and H.B.1, that will provide $55 million for cybersecurity services for school districts through the Texas Education Agency. Please use this template and send a statement of support to your state representatives! If you follow this link, you will be directed to a website where you can enter your zip code to find your state representatives and email them directly. Feel free to send the template as is, or modify it as you see fit.
In addition, in conjunction with the CoSN conference later this month, we are asking TETL members to meet with their state legislators to advocate for our TETL priorities. Instructions on how to perform Capitol Walks, as well as talking points, will be provided. We are offering three opportunities for meeting with your representatives. You can: 1) Sign-up to do an in-person Capitol Walk on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 22; 2) Sign-up for a virtual Capitol Walk on the afternoon of Thursday, March 23; OR 3) Sign-up for a virtual meeting with your legislators at a date of your choice. Please complete this quick survey regarding your availability to participate in a virtual or in-person Capitol Walk.
Due to inclement weather the 2023 TETL Post-Winter Summit, originally scheduled for February 1, has been rescheduled for Thursday, March 23, 2023, at Hays CISD. Our focus will be on student data privacy, data governance, and the Texas Education Exchange will discuss implementing the new Ed-Fi data standards for Texas. Please join us as we “Take it to the Next Level.” The CoSN2023 EdTech Conference takes place March 20 - 23, at the Austin Marriott Downtown, immediately before our Post-Winter Summit. They have a great schedule, so join us if you can. We always covet the award for most attendees from the state chapters!
Registration for the 2023 TETL Summer Conference, happening June 21-22, 2023, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Marcos Conference Center, in San Marcos, TX, is now open! Interested in being a presenter? The Call for Sponsors and Call for Presenters for the 2023 TETL Summer Conference is also open. REGISTER NOW.
We are currently accepting nominations for the 2023 TETL Awards! Each year, TETL recognizes individuals and school districts that demonstrate outstanding vision in the use of information technologies to improve student learning. Nominations close on April 15, and awards will be presented at the 2023 TETL Summer Conference. Leaders in our field don’t often get the recognition they deserve, so please submit a nomination today!
The Alice Owen Student Scholarship application deadline has been extended to April 15, 2023. If you know students who are planning to go into teaching or technology and graduating this year, please have them submit an application asap!
The Ministry of Education in New Zealand was in Austin last week and met with TETL to discuss cybersecurity trends in Texas. Karen Fuller from Cy-Fair and Victor Valdez from Pflugerville represented TETL in the discussions.
Be sure to check out this important article in the current issue of INSIGHT magazine, on "The Value of Your Pandemic Technology Investment in Post-Pandemic Districts," by our own Dr. Karla Burkholder!
Our next Member Call is Thursday, April 20, at 1:30. We’ve changed the style of our calls to be more interactive and our most recent calls have been very well attended. Thanks to our Leadership and Development Committee for guiding us through last month’s topic of "Understanding Our WHY.OS." If you’re interested in learning more about your WHY.OS, we will be offering a pre-conference workshop the subject, on June 20, 2023, as part of our TETL Summer Conference.
Save the date: the TETL Fall Meeting will be on October 6, 2023, in Prosper ISD.
Congratulations to our door prize winners from TASA Midwinter:
• Adam Patterson, Sherman ISD – Apple watch
• Jeff Raymond, TEA – Anker charger
• Christopher Johnson, Denton ISD – Ember mug
Have you been thinking you'd like to serve TETL in a larger capacity? Keep an eye on your email as nominations for TETL officers will be coming out very soon!
As time evolves, data privacy becomes more and more critical. Did you know that with your TETL membership, you have automatic access to the National Data Privacy Agreement? If you’re not currently executing the agreement, you can learn more about it at the Post-Winter Summit or, if you’re not yet a TETL member, please contact me at email@example.com to join the alliance!
I look forward to seeing you soon!
All the best,
Dianne Borreson, CETL
New TETL White Paper: Small Districts, Big District Needs
Problem: With fewer resources available than larger school districts, small school districts struggle to provide the same education technology assets and opportunities to students.
We’re all in this together! We’ve heard that phrase a lot over the last couple of years. The truth is when it comes to technology we really do have the same issues and needs regardless of the size of the district. The catch is that small districts are at a severe disadvantage because they don’t have the staff or resources that large districts do. With that in mind, Texas Education Technology Leaders (TETL) created this white paper to assist small districts with information and resources on data privacy, cybersecurity, funding, budgeting, and staffing.
Overview: Through the use of already existing planning resources, careful budget planning, and strategic staffing decisions, small districts can ensure the safety of their school communities and provide students with the same access to education technology as students in large districts. Data privacy is increasingly important for K-12 districts in a digital age where student and staff information is stored across many systems. Small school districts in Texas can adhere to existing standards for security implementation and staff training by taking advantage of existing resources from established partners. Further, through a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms for school funding, small districts can leverage existing local, state, and federal funding streams and maximize efficiency in order to provide students with the technological opportunities and district systems necessary for K-12 education in the 21st century.
TETL is your partner to help you be successful in all of your technology endeavors. If you are not yet a member, we encourage you to join. From white papers like this one to professional learning and networking opportunities, a wealth of resources are available to you. We truly are all in this together! If you would like to receive a copy of the full white paper, please send an email to Dianne Borreson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join a TETL Committee!
Leadership & Development—Chaired by Robin Stout and Barbara Brown
The Leadership & Development Committee is charged with planning and executing leadership and development opportunities. They will be working closely with Karen Fuller on upcoming professional development opportunities. The Leadership & Development committee meets the first Thursday of every month at 2:00. Zoom link to join Leadership & Development Committee Meeting.
Membership—Chaired by Jacque Fewin and Eva Mendoza
The Membership Committee is focused on growing our membership. The following regional service centers are members: 4, 7, 10, 11, 12, and 20! We still need Regional Champions for 1, 3, 6, 7, 8 12, 14, 15, 18, and 19. Email email@example.com if you are interested in being a regional champion. The Membership Committee Meeting calls are the fourth Thursday of every month. Zoom link to join Membership Committee meeting.
Advocacy—Chaired by Chris Cummings
The Advocacy Committee is charged with developing and advancing advocacy initiatives. This committee works closely with CoSN to ensure our voices are heard. The Advocacy Committee meets the third Tuesday of every month at 1:00.
Note: Due to the holidays, the December meeting has been moved to December 6, at 1:00. Zoom link to join the Advocacy Committee.
Digital Shift—Chaired by Karla Burkholder and Chris Langford
The Digital Shift Committee is responsible for publishing content to support TETL initiatives. They have published several whitepapers which can be found on the TETL website. This committee meets the third Wednesday of every month at 12:30. Zoom link to join the Digital Shift Committee.
Meeting & Events—Chaired by Leslie Garakani
The Meeting & Events Committee is charged with planning our three main events. This committee works closely with the executive director to select venues, sponsors, presenters, and content for each event. This committee meets the second Tuesday of every month at 1:30. Zoom link to join the Meeting & Events Committee.
TrustEd—Chaired by Greg Grimes
The purpose is of the TrustEd Committee is to provide materials and support for data privacy initiatives, cybersecurity planning, and building a trusted learning environment. This committee doesn’t meet on a regular schedule. This committee also works closely with Data Privacy Alliance. To request access to the national database, go to https://sdpc.a4l.org/add_district_account2.php?state=TX
Join today and take advantage of new member benefits
TETL extends a warm welcome to our new district members: Celina ISD, Crandall ISD, Graford ISD, Longview ISD, Melissa ISD, and Texans Can Academy. We're glad you're here!
Nominations are now open for the 2023 TETL Awards! Each year, TETL recognizes individuals and school districts that demonstrate outstanding vision in the use of information technologies to improve student learning. Learn more.
“The Evolving Role of the CTO, Part 1”
Over the last 20 years, we have experienced significant changes in the technology that we use in our daily lives. Just think about it . . . from iPhones, Fitbits, Amazon, and Alexa, to Twitter, Netflix, and TikTok—the way we work out, find entertainment, get our news, buy our groceries, and talk with friends and family all look a lot different today.
The same is true for our schools and how we use technology to facilitate learning. From personal devices, chargers, hotspots, passwords, Wi-Fi, personalized learning apps, and cloud computing, the tools students use in classrooms look very different than they did 20 years ago.
Read the full article in Texas School Business by TETL Executive Director Dianne Borreson here.