Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Strategic Technology Plan precedes implementation

Every district is tasked with the development of a “Technology Plan.”  As a consultant for Strategic Planning, I might ask, “does the technology plan align with the district’s master Strategic Plan?  The only way the Technology Plan can align with the Strategic Plan, is if the Strategic Plan is developed first, with Technology as a key consideration.


Envision the technology plan that states, “By 2014, 30% of teachers will use a Learning Management System.”  It would be logical to ask, is there a district-wide Learning Management System?”  Is there a district-wide license? (or at least a license for 30% of the students).  The technology plan cannot be a silo – meaning that it only has a vertical impact within the organization, rather, the technology plan must be fully embedded within the core of the Strategic Plan.  Thus the Technology Plan can become a true implementation plan, that includes actual designs, budgets and implementation timelines.  How effective is a plan to have this 30% of teachers identified, when no specific funding source is identified to accomplish this?  Then, is the result evaluated?

A Curriculum First Approach to Technology

In this webinar sponsored by EdWeek and Google – Mike discusses how a curriculum approach to integrating technology is most successful.

This event took place on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, 1 to 2 p.m. ET.


In this webinar, hear from Michael Casey, director of technology at Del Mar Union School District (DMUSD), a San Diego county-based, high-performing school district serving approximately 4,300 K-6 students. Casey will explore how they use Chromebooks in the district to support their curriculum focus on writing and the Common Core State Standards.

Learn about their curriculum-implementation strategy that ensures students are prepared for academic achievement as well as lifelong, self-directed learning and engagement as both global and digital citizens. In addition, discover how DMUSD developed a process for integrating tools to support instruction, selecting a hardware platform that supports instructional tools, and rolling out professional development that ensures success.

Casey uses Google Chromebooks for Education to leverage the power and simplicity of the Web for unlimited teaching and learning opportunities to engage all constituents including parents, students, teachers, and administrators.

Preparing Students for Academic Success: Webinar

Mike will be presenting a webinar sponsored by THE Journal.

Preparing today’s students for academic success means putting the right technology tools into their hands—tools that support curriculum and foster self-directed learning.

Learn how to drive achievement in your district with Chromebooks. Join us February 12 to hear Michael Casey, director of technology at Del Mar Union School District (DMUSD) in San Diego, discuss how his district is using Chromebooks to support its writing curriculum and the Common Core State Standards. Don’t miss this one-hour event to get details on the district’s:

BYOD – it's not a strategy anymore…


I know you’re asking, “how is it not a strategy,” when you haven’t even formulated your strategy yet?  It is on your to do list, right?

Bring Your Own Device – is your current reality.  It’s an unfunded mandate for each IT department.  Like it or not, they’re on your premise.  They may not access your network, but they’ll be walking around your campus whether you like it or not.  Unfortunately, if you haven’t addressed guest access, outbound filtering and internal VLANs, then those D’s (devices) are already flying around unsecured and tying up your WiFi.

Once you decide what you’re policy will be, and get it approved by the board, then you can go get the dollars and deal with all the security, filtering and access control appliances.  Soon, right?

The question then becomes is BYOD part of your Curriculum strategy?  Not necessarily.  Once you realize that you’re Network Use Policy and your Curriculum Strategy are somewhat unrelated to each other, it will be much easier to do the necessary planning for each.

Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Planning

The process of strategic planning must be guided by direction.  Let’s use some different nouns: tactics, must be guided by strategy, which must be guided by objectives, which must be guided by VISION.

The process of developing a vision that will guide strategy should be done from the top-down.   Infrastructure and implementation projects should be done from the bottom-up.

But you may ask, “from the top of what?”  Or “what bottom?”

In N3XT PRACTICES, we introduced the Education Extended OSI Model that places Curriculum Objectives and Professional Development above the standard OSI Model.

There you have it!



Michael Casey has over 30 years of experience in Education as a classroom teacher, Educational Technology Resource teacher, Program Manager for Educational Technology and as an Executive Director for Information Technology at San Diego Unified School District. He is currently the director of Technology for Del Mar Union Schools and the President and CEO of Eire Group a technology consulting solutions group.



Here are the top ten reasons why school districts fail to develop Strategic Technology Plans:

10 – There’s no money so what difference does it make?
9 – No one has ever asked for one.
8 – We did one 3 years ago, and nothing was ever done with it.
7 – That’s (someone else’s) job.
6 – There’s no time for me to do it.
5 – There’s no money to pay someone to do it.
4 – That’s not in my job description (meaning I don’t know how to do it).
3 –We’re way too busy, understaffed and overworked.
2 – We’ve never needed one before.
AND…..the number one reason School Districts fail to develop Strategic Technology Plans is:
1 – The IT director says, it’s already done! It’s all up here (pointing to his/her head).