The Internet offers a tremendous range of information, tools, and resources that can help administrators lead their schools and districts to excellence. However, administrators have limited time to search through the hundreds of web pages to find the right resources related to problems they are trying to solve. The California Department of Education commissioned the Santa Cruz County Office of Education to develop a centralized repository of technology related resources and professional development opportunities for California's administrators. The result of these efforts became the California Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership (TICAL) and the Internet portal www.portical.org. Administrators in Arkansas now have the opportunity to take advantage of the work completed by California and modify the site to meet their specific needs.
Information that will help principals, superintendents and other administrators with the day-to-day needs encountered as part of their jobs can be found at portical.org. The resources on this portal have been collected and organized by practicing administrators and have been judged by the administrators to be of significant value prior to inclusion on the site. These resources are organized in such a way that they can be easily entered through a matrix. The matrix has been developed around skills and resources identified by focus groups as critical for administrators to provide leadership in six educational technology components, including:
1) Data Driven Decision Making
2) Integrating Technology into Standards-based Curriculum
3) Technology Planning
4) Professional Development Needs of Staff in Technology
5) Financial Planning for Technology
6) Operations and Maintenance
The six components have been cross-referenced with one of five resource types so that administrators can go directly to the desired type of assistance. The resource types are:
The portal also includes an easy to use threaded discussion area where a question can be posted and input can be received from administrators across the nation.
A United States Department of Education Grant has made it possible for Arkansas to not only utilize the resources of this portal but to develop a version of TICAL for Arkansas. In order for TICAL to be successful in Arkansas, administrative leaders will be given the opportunity to assist in the design of the site, collect and submit information, and provide training for other administrators in the use of the portal. Tentative plans include the recruitment and selection of 15-20 administrators from Arkansas to work with the California administrators to customize a section of the portal for Arkansas and support its use and maintenance.
An announcement of the TICAL project along with an application for participation is attached. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Ms. Melanie Bradford at 501-371-5005 or firstname.lastname@example.org.