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   DataBus - Vol 41 No. 3: April-May, 2001
TechSETS Promises to Provide Much-Needed Support for School Technologists

TechSETS Logo Administered by the San Diego County Office of Education, under contract with the California Department of Education, TechSETS (Technical Support for Education Technology in Schools) is under development to support the escalating need for skilled technology support professionals in California schools. The explosive growth in school technology has emphasized the need for a common set of knowledge and competencies and appropriate professional development to ensure technology is adequately supported in schools.
Working with a wide range of vendors, field professionals, county offices of education, and school districts, TechSETS has set out to establish a statewide consensus on what technology support staff should know about and be able to do with technology and to document that consensus as a comprehensive matrix of skills.
TechSETS has the following initial objectives:
  1. Identify technology skills needed, along with appropriate professional development, arrayed in a user-friendly matrix.
  2. Collaborate with stakeholders to identify cost effective sources of training aligned to the matrix of skills.
  3. Provide resources and support for California school technologists through an online interactive helpdesk.
  4. Provide assistance for planning and installing technology infrastructures.
TechSETS plans to work in close collaboration with CEDPA and its members who comprise a majority of clients that TechSETS aims to support. A series of advisory, small focus group, and individual meetings are underway across the state to elicit feedback and focus TechSETS to best meet the needs of a wide range of support professionals. Involvement of CEDPA members is encouraged to ensure the needs of our diverse regions in California are appropriately and effectively met.
TechSETS will be launching its online helpdesk at the 2001 CEDPA Conference in Monterey. Working with a variety of stakeholders and major vendors, the helpdesk will provide resources and support for technology support professionals in California. A cadre of field experts will be recruited over the next several months to respond to a wide range of questions, initially related to the matrix and appropriate professional development. The scope of questions addressed by TechSETS will expand to cover other areas as the project develops. Responses to inquiries will be cataloged in an extensive knowledge base, searchable in an easy-to-use web interface. Over time, TechSETS will build its capacity to provide assistance by incorporating a variety of technology tools and resources in the online helpdesk. If interested in participating as a field expert, or if you know someone who would be important for us to contact, you should visit our website and complete the requested information under the Technical Expertise for California's Helpdesk (TECH) Program.
TechSETS is one of four Statewide Education Technology Services (SETS) to provide support and resources for California schools as authorized by AB1761. These services are those that "are more efficiently and effectively provided on a statewide basis."
As a result of a collaborative process including major professional organizations and education technology stakeholders, four approved services were identified to include:
Learning Resources (CLRN) - www.clrn.org
Professional Development and Resources for Administrators (TICAL) - www.portical.org
Arranging Discount Pricing and Coordinating Statewide Licenses (C-SMART) - www.c-smart.org
Professional Development and Resources for Technology Support Staff (TechSETS) www.techsets.org
For more information regarding TechSETS or to provide feedback, visit us online or contact Todd Finnell directly at or (760) 312-6403. For information regarding other SETS projects, visit them at the web address listed above.
Todd Finnell is Director, Instructional Technology for the Imperial County Office of Education. He is on loan to the San Diego County Office of Education and is the TechSETS Project Manager. He may be reached by e-mail at .