BLOG

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

Read More

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)

Read More

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)

Read More

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.” 

Read More

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)

Read More

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) 

Read More

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)

Read More

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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

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)

Read More

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

Read More

Meetings that Matter

As each school year ends, we inevitably face numerous necessary meetings to wrap up unfinished business and plan for the year ahead. With this in mind, we want to share with you some sage advice from ECATD faculty member Curt Lieneck, Director of Information Technology at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.

If you join us in Chicago later this month for our collaborative workshop with ISACS, “Cyber Security in Independent Schools,” July 13-14, you will have a chance to meet Curt, who is one of the participants. You can still sign up for the workshop here.  Also, you can RSVP here to join Curt and the ATLIS gang as we meet up and wind down at a soon-to-be disclosed location near the ADVIS offices at 5:30 pm on Thursday. -- SD

Read More

Having Your Say: Attendee Responses to ATLIS AC 2017

As we studied the responses of this year’s attendees to our annual conference held last month in Los Angeles, we were pleased to find that the data reinforced the positive zeitgeist we had detected from personal interactions with attendees. We saw that you valued the inspiration of both keynotes and that you sought information and new connections to stretch your thinking. You found your investment of time and money yielded important interaction with trusted mentors and colleagues. This was the magic of the 2017 ATLIS annual conference: a community abuzz with the opportunity to learn together.

Read More

Hey, Do You Know Someone Who Clicked?

Recently, a rash of what appeared to be phishing emails mimicking a request to share a Google Document descended upon our online communities. While the circumstances of this particular email attack remain uncertain, issues of cyber security remain of grave to concern to independent school technology leaders and are at the forefront of our work at ATLIS, most recently in a webinar offered by Jamie Britto and Denise Musselwhite.

As it occurred, an active discussion about the attack sprang up on the ECATD and ISED Listserves, Twitter, and regional discussion groups as members shared their experiences and perspectives, an exchange that serves to highlight the importance of our connections with ATLIS members who are dealing with problems like this in real time. The day after the attack, a New York Times article, “Email Attack Hits Google: What to Do If You Clicked,” offered recommendations for those who fell for the phishing attack and clicked. These included  revoking access (via https://myaccount.google.com/permissions) and changing passwords to one never before used on your account.

Read More

Cyber Security: Where to Start?

Jamie Britto from  Collegiate School (VA) and Denise Musselwhite from Trinity Preparatory School (FL)  team up for a webinar  on Thursday, April 13, 2017 (10:00 to 11:00 AM PDT) to explore steps school leaders can take to address cyber security on independent school campuses. Jamie and Denise will focus on no or low-cost options that can immediately improve your school’s cyber security; they will also share next steps for technology leaders who must face the evolving challenges of securing school networks. Here is an overview of this important ATLIS event.

This webinar inverts the approach used at our two-day workshop (co-hosted by ATLIS and ISACS) by starting with tactics, then looking at strategy, and wrapping up with a brief look at concepts which need to be addressed in the future.

Read More

ATLIS Adds Pricing Transparency

ATLIS Data Platform allows members to see peer reviews and the actual prices paid by schools for key technology resources, using LearnPlatform as the analytics engine.  

Join us March 9 to learn more

Our platform now gives ATLIS independent school technology leaders a tool to improve educational technology purchasing decisions for both hardware and software purchases. The platform now allows members to access price reports on the products they are considering for first-time purchase or renewal. Members will have access to easy-to-read graphs that provide insight into how other member schools are buying and utilizing edtech. This transparency will allow schools to make better-informed decisions that improve efficiencies and increase cost savings for ATLIS members.

Read More

IRS Warning to Schools

IRS Issues Warning to Schools

ATLIS shared this news last month with each of our member schools as a special bulletin.  If you did not receive the bulletin and would like to subscribe as one of your school's primary contacts, please submit this brief form and we'll add you to the list.

We want ATLIS leaders to be aware that schools are being targeted by increasingly persistent criminals who attempt to acquire employee W-2 data and file false returns to steal tax refunds.  Please share this information personally with those who have access to employee W-2 data in your school.

Read More

Over and Up: Think Like the Knight to Advance Your Career

Over and Up: Think Like the Knight to Advance Your Career

Update: Join Gabe February 10 to discuss career strategies for technology leaders. If you missed the webinar, catch the recording here.

Read More
1 Comments

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions

The celebrations are over, the morning alarm has been turned back on, and educators and students are back in school (hopefully rested and refreshed). Many people use the new year to set resolutions and goals for the year to come. While we often think first of personal goals (run a marathon, read more books), this attitude can be a great impetus to set new professional goals. Those of us who work in schools get to say “Happy New Year” twice each year and the new calendar year can be a great time to set goals for the remaining school year and even the start of the next academic year.

One of the best ways to set new year’s resolutions is to set tangible goals. I like to set goals based on previous challenges. For example, have faculty been struggling with implementing an aspect our LMS or new operating system? Do I struggle to get devices imaged in time for the start of the academic year? Is there a stack of educational books that I’ve been meaning to read? Whatever my challenges have been in the previous year (or years), this is where I look for my goals.

Read More

What impact have online and blended learning had on your school?

On October 20, 2015

 Eric Hudson hosted "What impact have online and blended learning had on your school?"