Building Team Leadership for a Digital Transformation, Course Syllabus

many raised hands against a blue sky

Leading and guiding a district towards its vision in the digital age can be both thrilling and daunting, presenting both opportunities and challenges. Education technology is a growing part of any superintendent’s role, and superintendents are responsible for ensuring their districts embrace transformative digital learning.


CTOs and other school technology leaders are charged with making smart use of technology and helping to ensure technology is used in effective ways to support student learning and teacher and staff effectiveness.


For both superintendents and CTOs, ed tech initiatives can inspire a lot of excitement but also bring a lot of trepidation. The goal of this course is to give district leaders a new perspective on the most important things they need to do to collaborate, support, and leverage their team to achieve effective 21st century learning environments. A team approach to technology leadership will help superintendents and CTOs work as allies to realize transformative learning environments that are engaging and results-oriented and pursue digital conversions for student learning. 


9 CEA Credits toward CETL® recertification.


  • Overview—Leading a district in the digital age
  • Leveraging knowledge of relevant and innovative technologies
  • Imperatives for technology leadership

Strengthen District Leadership

  • Rethink the superintendents’ role
  • Rethink the CTO's role
  • Understand the need for technology leadership
  • Snapshot of CTOs/CIOs
  • Evolving role of the CTO in elevating the learning environment
  • The new, more proactive CTO and CoSN's framework
  • Emphasis on the four Cs
  • Elevate the role of the CTO
  • CoSN's CETL certification
  • CTO self-assessment
  • Seek strong CTO candidates
  • Target CTO professional training needs
  • Be change agents
  • Foster strong leaders and a safe environment for innovatioin and risk 
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Stengthen District Communication

  • Work with stakeholders to develop a shared mission
  • Build relationships and buy-in for the digital conversion plan
  • Collaborate with curriculum administrators
  • Recognize principals as instructional leaders
  • Consider teacher challenges and needs and the role of media specialists
  • Studentsa critical stakeholder group
  • Target the business manager, board members, and community stakeholders
  • The strategic planning process
  • Strategic planning best practices
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Manage and Facilitate the Change Process

  • Cultural context of change
  • Building support for change
  • Why change efforts fail
  • The people side of change
  • A leader's ability to persuade and influence
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Communicate and Create a Culture of Innovation

  • What innovative organizations do
  • Work with cross-functional teams
  • Build trust
  • Foster respect
  • Manage diverse teams and ensure distributed leadership
  • Be flexible and adaptable
  • Create a process of continuous improvement
  • Keep stakeholders informed and foster collaboration
  • Tell the technology story
  • Ten management tips for great leaders
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Raise the Bar with Rigorous, Transformative, and Innovative Learning Skills

  • Help students be world-ready
  • Dig deeper on learning
  • Why deeper learning is important
  • Deeper learning in practice
  • Recommit to citizenship education
  • Civic literacy
  • Global citizenship
  • Digital citizenship
  • Take a look at the arts
  • Why teach arts?
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Transform Pedagogy with Compelling Learning Environments

  • 21st century teaching and learning environment
  • Learning spaces and interactions
  • Innovative learning environments
  • Learners, educators, content, and resources
  • Leveraging the power of technology
  • Designing learning environments
  • Using research in best practices
  • Managing a high-performing learning environment
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Support Professional Development and Communities of Practice

  • Meaningful professional development
  • Professional development targetig 21st century knowledge and skills
  • Collaboration
  • Educational best practices
  • Understanding the process of integrating technology and transformation
  • Teacher technology competency
  • Monitoring progress
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Create Balanced Assessments

  • Transformational assessment to improve teaching and learning
  • Monitor student progress during learning
  • Explore international assessments
  • Using learning analytics
  • Train educators to understand and effectively use assessments and assessment data
  • Mentor students in understanding and using feedback
  • Developing a data-rich culture
  • Reflection questions
  • Extending your study

Summary: Key Action Steps for Teaming for Transformative Learning