In this episode, I interview Chad Stevens, Chief Education Strategist at CDW-G. He talks about what return on education means and why it’s important, technology’s role in enabling teaching and learning, and about how schools have a ton of data at their disposal but very few use it to their advantage in the classroom in empowering teachers and students.
Chad A. Stevens, Ph.D., is chief education strategist for CDW-G, a leading provider of technology solutions and services to education, government and healthcare. A former teacher and district chief technology officer, Dr. Stevens provides expertise to customers and CDW-G teams from an educator’s perspective to ensure successful implementations of CDW-G solutions and maximize long-term “return on education.” Dr. Stevens joined CDW-G as an education strategist in 2014. In this role, he helped launch Collaboration Nation, an awards program that recognizes the nation’s finest examples of collaboration in K-12 educational technology projects, and The K-12 Connected Heat Map, which shows the current prevalence of wired and wireless classroom connectivity state by state. He also co-founded ConnectIT, a blog focused on bridging the gap between education and technology.
Prior to that, he served students for 14 years as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of instructional technology and chief technology officer. In 2010, Dr. Stevens moved to the private sector, working as a senior consultant on broad IT transformation and strategy to improve education outcomes for more than 30 K-20 institutions across North America.
Dr. Stevens, a former teacher of the year at Ed White Elementary in Seabrook, Texas, has a passion for helping schools achieve strategic alignment between the teaching and learning and IT teams to provide an exemplary experience for students and teachers.
Dr. Stevens holds a Bachelor of Science from Tarleton State University (Texas), a Master of Science in Educational Management from the University of Houston – Clear Lake and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Dr. Stevens also regularly speaks at educational technology conferences and is an emerging technologies committee corporate member liaison for the CoSN.
(02:17) Chad’s background
(05:15) I’m curious about your family background. Your mother and father, were they teachers? How did you get into the education industry?
(06:41) Given your experience across many different parts of education, what do you say is the biggest problem that schools face in making good, solid technology decisions?
(08:30) A lot of my work over the past 10 years has been in higher education, curriculum design, online and blended learning. I see a lot of these decisions made at the top level leadership. But what’s sometimes missing is the faculty and instructor buy-in at the classroom level. I’m wondering, as far as the work that you do, do you see some consistencies with that? And were you seeing effective implementations? What are things that those schools and leaders do well?
(11:00) Could you give us an example of maybe 1 or 2 schools who have been great models of successful technology strategy and implementation?
Leander ISD – http://www.leanderisd.org/
(14:23) In a lot of the work that I’ve seen you write about you talk about return on education. Can you expand on the meaning of the term and why it’s so important?
(19:50) You talk about how collaboration is so key, how often do you see the technology department in schools and the leaders teaching and learning, working in silence, and not even working together.
(24:46) I’m interested to get your feel on best practices for accumulating data and putting it action in the classroom.
(27:03) What gets you most excited about the future of learning?
(30:15) What about what gets you most frustrated about the future of learning?
(32:35) What’s the book that’s most influenced you and why?
(33:46) If you could have dinner with one person you admire past or present, who would it be and why?
Connect IT: http://edtechmagazine.com/k12/connect-it
Collaboration Nation: http://www.eschoolnews.com/collaboration/
K-12 Connected Heat Map: http://k12heatmap.com