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The Crucial Role of Technology Leadership: An Interview with Donna Orem

The Crucial Role of Technology Leadership: An Interview with Donna Orem

Earlier this year, ATLIS Executive Director Sarah Hanawald sat down with NAIS President Donna Orem to talk about the role of technology leaders in independent schools today. What follows in this candid interview provides insight into how technologists can help move other school leaders move toward innovation in the face of disruptions and struggle to adapt to the changing world around us. -- SD

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ATLIS Cyber Threat Assessment February 2018

ATLIS views cybersecurity as a critical area of concern for technology leaders in independent schools. In this post, you will find the February 2018 update of the ALIS Cyber Threat Assessment. Are you ready for a deeper dive into professional development designed specifically for independent schools? securing your school from cyber threats? Learn more about our two-day cybersecurity workshop designed specifically for technology leaders and risk management professionals, to be held this summer, July 19-20, at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, Texas. -- SD

[10-min read]

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Meet Vidigami at the ATLIS Annual Conference 2018

We are thrilled to have Vidigami's support as a Platinum Sponsor of our Annual Conference in Crystal City, Virginia, April 15-18. We are reposting this March 5, 218 blog from the Vidigami website as an introduction to the workshops Vidigami will host at the conference (plus contests!) and to the photo portal they will provide to the ATLIS community for the coming year, starting at the conference. We look forward to sharing photos with you about the learning that is happening at your schools and in your own professional lives. -- SD

[10-minute read]

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Connecting, Reflecting, and Creating within the ATLIS Community

As part of a recent G-Suite User Group webinar on leveraging G-Suite tools for curriculum mapping, Richard Anderson of Washington International School (DC) and Barry Kallmeyer of Hathaway-Brown School (OH) relayed the story of their collaboration on curriculum mapping tools that developed out of a bootcamp workshop at the ATLIS 2017 Annual Conference. Their connection continued online in a Google+ community and will continue to evolve with new participants and partners at ATLIS 2018. Learn more about what came of their collaboration and open source sharing in this blog post. -- SD

Richard Anderson and Barry Kallmeyer on Curriculum Mapping with G-Suite

[10-minute read]

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Tricia Edwards on How to Spark Inquiry Learning

Recently, Sarah Hanawald, Executive Director of ATLIS, had the opportunity to interview Tricia Edwards, Head of Education for the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History. Edwards, who will present the Tuesday Keynote for our annual conference, shared her back story as an educator and the evolution of the SparkLabs at the Smithsonian. View the video of their conversation for a sneak peak into our offerings for the ATLIS Annual Conference in April. -- SD

(5-minute read; video)

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Cybersecurity Update

Recently, in the ATLIS Slack Channel on #security, Shandor Simon, Director of Technology  at the Latin School of Chicago (IL), shared a collaborative document for tracking the cybersecurity information of concern to Independent Schools for January. In this post, we share his document and a link for updating -- and we encourage our community to crowdsource the information critical to keeping our information safe. We also want our community to know that ATLIS will offer its Cybersecurity Workshop for Independent Schools as an introductory bootcamp at our annual conference and as a two-day workshop this summer in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 19-20. Learn more about this essential, one-of-a-kind workshop for independent schools here.  -- SD

(10-minute read)

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Technology and Accreditation, Together at Last!

Dawn Jenkins Klus, Director of Accreditation for the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), came to her position after a long career as technology director and senior administrator at a Midwest independent school.  Here Dawn shares her insights into the self-study guidelines she and her cohorts on the Technology and Accreditation Task Force for ATLIS produced last year. Whether you are taking part in a self-study for accreditation soon or reviewing your technology goals for next year, you should find this tool and Dawn’s insights helpful to your process. -- SD

(10-minute read)

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Designing for Change from the Ground Up

As schools design for innovation and change by offering critical professional development for teachers, hacking schedules, implementing school-wide initiatives from the top, or revamping the very nature of the classroom -- education leaders now must examine physical spaces as landscapes for reinventing learning. Yet, are technologists invited to the table as those changes are envisioned, designed, and implemented?  -- SD

(10-minute read)

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What Research Says...Or Does It?

In a post-Thanksgiving webinar, as part of our "How To" series, Sarah Hanawald interviewed Beth Holland on the topic of evaluating research. Beth is a doctoral candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Education and a well-known member of the independent school technology community,  During the interview, Sarah and Beth discussed the critical role that educators play in actively reading, interpreting, and analyzing research. They covered a host of disparate ideas, from determining the credibility of the source to questioning whether the results of a study can be generalized to other contexts and settings. On her "EdTech Researcher" blog at Education Week, Beth has written several posts about reading and interpreting research that may be helpful. Links to these posts are shared below the video.  -- SH

(5-Minute Read)

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Personal and Professional Development through Giving Back

Since joining the ATLIS staff last April, I have been impressed by the tremendous spirit of giving back that runs through our community of technology leaders and educators. At ATLIS, we are certainly thankful for how the members of our community are eager to inform and share with colleagues, to connect around shared concerns and ideas, and to reflect on professional practice as we ponder how deeply technology is embedded in nearly every aspect of independent schools.

But what has struck me most lately is that giving back in the context of ATLIS’s programs, whether it is done to expand the knowledge base for all, or to create relationships through shared stories, or just because because it feels like the good and right thing to do, giving back also plays a huge role in personal growth and professional development. It stretches us as we create learning pathways with cherished colleagues and challenges us through friendly competition. By giving back to the larger tech community, we learn together and grow the profession. -- SD

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We're Not Just Making This Up

In September, Susan M. Bearden joined ATLIS for a webinar on Building Technology Infrastructure for Learning, the product of her year-long residency at the Department of Education. Now a private-sector educational consultant in Washington, DC, Bearden shared with ATLIS her goals for the project, the importance of envisioning the learning first, the significance of cybersecurity for education, ruminations on how public and independent schools can learn from one another, and a look forward to what the future holds for technology and education. We are happy to share Bearden's interview, also available in video format elsewhere on this website, in the blog post that follows. -- SD

ATLIS Leadership Webinar
Susan M. Bearden on Building Technology Infrastructure for Learning
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

(20-minute read)

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What Do Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Mean for Technology Leaders?

For this post, Renee Ramig of the Seven Hills School (CA) and newly appointed Editor of ACCESS POINTS, the ATLIS annual journal, shares a personal view of how this year's theme of "Technology for Equity, Access, and Inclusion" is relevant for every technology leader. We hope you will share your thoughts for a contribution to the journal -- whether it is a scholarly study or a personal story -- as a way of sharing your leadership for technology in independent schools. The deadline for abstract submissions is this Friday, October 27th. You can find more information on how you can submit your ideas here. -- SD

 (10-minute read)

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Jason Ramsden Assumes Leadership of ATLIS Executive Board

Jason Ramsden Assumes Leadership of ATLIS Executive Board

The recent appointment of Jason Ramsden, Chief Information Officer of Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC, as Executive Board President of The Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS) signals a new era for the nonprofit start-up now serving the technology professionals who remain at the forefront of change in education. “Our career focus is on being agents of change,” said new ATLIS Board President Jason Ramsden, “and ATLIS is such an important organization for our members because it provides the information they need to perform at the highest levels, connects them through meaningful professional development opportunities, and gives them the tools they need to be reflective and intentional in their work.” 

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Insights from DASL

Data -- what can it do for you? How can it provide avenues to insight and guidance for the future? Our connection at ATLIS with the DASL data from NAIS can provide valuable information for technology leaders who know how to harness it. In this post, Sarah Hanawald, Executive Director of ATLIS, reflects on the importance of data collection as a resource for deeper analysis. We urge our members to set aside the time to complete their DASL data collection this fall so that you can have it at your fingertips when questions arise throughout the year. The DASL deadline is October 11 for 2017, so don't wait! -- SD

(10-minute read)

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Security and Trust in the Land of the Blind

We are pleased to welcome guest writer Brian Horton, Director of Technology Operations at Duke School (NC), to our blog. In this post, Brian shares his reflections on the ways that technology departments may now serve as trusted sources of information for independent school communities, especially as cybersecurity breaches cause all of us to be more anxious about the safety of our personal data.

Brian's experience after the recent Equifax data security breach led him to share important information with his school community about how to respond in such an instance. One by-product of his outreach has been a strengthening of relationships with the constituents he serves at his independent school. --  SD 

(10-minute read) 

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5 Ways Edtech Leaders Can Support Academic Programs

This month, as part of our year-long program for aspiring technology leaders, ECATD, ATLIS convened on September 11, 2017, a panel of academic leaders to discuss the relationships between the academic programs in independent schools and technology. Sarah Hanawald, ATLIS Executive Director, interviewed Jim Foley (Assistant Head of School for Leadership and Innovation, St. Luke's School, CT), Marsha Little (Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs, The Lovett School, GA) and Derrick Willard (Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs, Providence Day School, NC).  An excerpt from that interview follows. -- SD

(5-minute read)

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6 Steps for Polishing Your Proposal for ATLIS 2018

Lots of people have trouble turning their grand ideas or best practices into a presentation, even if they know their content backwards, forwards, and sideways. They freeze up despite the huge need the audience may have for what the proposal writer hopes to share. You may feel daunted by the writing, or you may not feel that you have put all the pieces of your idea together yet. This post can help you get started with the proposal writing process for ATLIS 2018. Remember, the proposals are due on September 30! -- Susan Davis, Professional Development, ATLIS

You can find a video of the webinar I made on proposal writing here. See a preview of what's on the submission form here.

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ATLIS Cybersecurity Advisory Panel Challenges Independent Schools to Take Action

Recently the ATLIS Cybersecurity Advisory Panel issued its 2017 report on the most significant sources of cyber attacks on independent schools, along with recommendations on how to combat those attacks. In this post, we introduce you to some of the key steps independent schools can take to protect their communities from cyber malfeasance.

Educational institutions are now a top target for cybersecurity attacks. Why? According to Jamie Britto of Collegiate School (VA), it’s “because we are weak and we pay.”

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July Webinar Round-Up

July was jam-packed with learning opportunities through our ATLIS webinar series. We featured Amanda Cadran of Learn on how to make the most of the data you can collect about how your users are employing online tools; maker inspiration from Sean Justice of Texas State University; our regular G Suite User Group meet-up, which focused on starting the new school year; and ATLIS co-founder turned entrepreneur Stuart Posin on how our phones collect and share data completely unbeknownst to us while we are sleeping or walking or ... you get the picture. This post provides a summary of each of these webinars, along with links to videos and resources when available.

Amanda Cadran on “Optimizing Your Edtech Tools”
(July 26, 2018)

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Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication

Bobby Bardenhagen, Marin Country Day School (CA)

Our recent webinar with Bobby Bardenhagen yielded a wealth of information about implementing multi-factor authentication (also called two-step verification) to bolster cybersecurity at his school. Below you will find notes from the webinar, as Bobby shared his personal journey and offered guidance for others who might be considering instituting this important security step. ATLIS members may access a video of the webinar here. -- SD

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