Focus included Instructional Technology Specialist (ITS) and Computer Science Licensure updates with additional Office of Digital Learning happenings. Topics from the Advisory Day included updates with a Q and A relating to the Instructional Technology Licenses and Computer Science Licenses and Office of Digital Learning initiatives as they relate to ESE’s priorities including MAPLE and what it means for Massachusetts in joining the New England Secondary Schools Consortium (NESSC) and what that means for models like competency-based progression.
Guest Speakers included: Ken Klau–Director for Office of Digital Learning Anne DeMallie–Mathematics Statewide Program Coordinator Representatives from the Education Superhighway
METAA, as a CoSN state chapter, also shares CoSN advocacy news that we support and think is important for our Massachusetts members. Please be sure to stay up to date about the Net Neutrality regulations and what you can do to strengthen your contracts and agreements with providers.
In December, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) eliminated the agency’s 2015 Net Neutrality regulations. Elimination of the regulations may raise new concerns for school districts and other education stakeholders, including assumption of potential pass-through costs associated with data-heavy digital learning initiatives; a less innovative education technology environment based on potential discriminatory pricing for new market entrants; and heightened pricing and other vulnerabilities for rural and high cost districts that may only have access to a single broadband carrier. CoSN encourages school districts to protect themselves through strong contract provisions, and we are talking with coalition partners to identify possible legislative remedies.
Instructional Technology Specialist and Educational Technology Administrator Advocacy License Efforts
Last year there were regulatory changes to streamline licensure by DESE. At that time there was a proposal made to eliminate the Instructional Technology Specialist licensure. Through both METAA and MassCUE joint advocacy efforts the license was preserved and updated. Currently, there are over 2000 Instructional Technology licensed educators in Massachusetts.
The role of the Instructional Technology Specialist can only be enhanced when strategically guided by an Educational Technology Administrator. The proposed regulatory changes to streamline licensure regulations last year did not have any recommendations for an Educational Technology Administrator license. Both the Massachusetts Digital Learning Advisory Council (DLAC) and METAA made recommendations to the licensure committee on several occasions, but no action was taken.
An Educational Technology Administrator possessing the necessary formalized prerequisites can be a change agent who guides the transformative digital learning journey for a school district.
Currently, in the state of Massachusetts, there is over 400 plus personnel within school districts with the designation of “Director of Educational Technology.” There are varying degrees of subject matter knowledge (SMKs) competencies that these designated personnel bring to the position.
METAA continues to advocate for a licensure that will bring regulatory professionalism to the field. Due to a growing request from both aspiring and sitting Educational Technology Administrators, METAA created an online course to increase competencies in the SMKs for this group of administrators. There have been over 40 sitting and aspiring Educational Technology Administrators who have taken this course.
In January 2016, DLAC took a formal vote to continue the support for the Educational Technology Administrator license and requested a subcommittee be created to make recommendations inclusive of the subject matter knowledge associated with this license. Listed below in the link provided is the sub committee's recommendations submitted to DLAC. Over the past two years, DLAC has expressed support for this license as documented in the DLAC annual reports 2015 and 2016.
A survey conducted by METAA, MassCUE, and DLAC captured 675 responses from Superintendents, Instructional Technology Specialist, Directors of Educational Technology, Academic and Vocational Teachers and Library Media Specialists relating to the Educational Technology landscape. There were over 200 respondents to the proposed question who agreed that there should be a license for an Educational Technology Administrator based in SMKs.