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   DataBus - Vol 40 No 4: June-July, 2000
"It Ain't the Same Old CEDPA"

In a CEDPA Board meeting a few years ago, a spirited discussion arose about the emerging role of CEDPA that necessitated support for classroom instruction. At the core of the dialog was the question, "Where should CEDPA's support for classroom instruction transition to other organizations like CUE and ISTE?" The answer was easy then. CEDPA should focus its organizational energy toward supporting the infrastructure and information systems that ultimately stop at the computer jack in the classroom. CEDPA clearly was not an organization that was in the business of curriculum or instructional support. That was then and the unanimous vote came easy. Enter Digital High School, school-to-career, internships and a labor shortage in the technology industry.
At the CEDPA conference in Santa Barbara, you will notice an orientation and theme that reflects the changing role for IT staff in school districts across the country. At ever increasing levels, IT personnel are being asked to design inservice opportunities for teachers. Staff development has always been the purview of the curriculum side of the house, but that side has asked for a partnership with IT to assist in bringing the 21st century to teachers. As teachers are finding themselves administering networks that require sophisticated network diagnostic and management tools, they look to IT for standards, policies, inservice and help.
The need for support does not stop at inservice opportunities. Teachers are delivering a new curriculum that is technology based. At Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, a fourteen year old sophomore just got his A+ certification--the youngest person in the nation to do so. Along with his fellow classmates this student can now take classes that will gain them certification for Microsoft, CISCO, 3Com, structured cabling and Novell. This curriculum is distinctly different from even ROP or Adult coursework that is used to delivering career oriented classes. It requires a high level of sophistication and demands of its students the ability to communicate, solve complex problems, work in teams and develop a methodology for managing constant change.
So CEDPA's membership finds itself smack in the middle of the classroom doing what was never expected--delivering curriculum. At the recent SIG in San Diego, one of the longest discussed topics was "inservice opportunities for teachers and how we (IT staff) could deliver them." In Santa Barbara, CEDPA will offer a complete breakout strand devoted to support of the virtual classroom. These sessions will touch on the need for IT staff to assist in curriculum design and delivery and will offer the advice of individuals who have moved past the computer jack in the classroom.