On IT Roles in Schools

In schools today, most professionals who work with technology typically fall into one of six groups. The descriptions of the duties assigned to these individuals illustrate the range of tasks necessary to manage and use the very complex information technology infrastructure encountered in a typical school and the scale of the system that requires support:

  • technicians who perform basic installation and maintenance on devices, this includes providing first level help and frequently interacting with technical support services from vendors and manufacturers
  • network administrators who install and manage servers and other network infrastructure, these individuals frequently have certifications from professional organizations and their expert knowledge is often provided through contracted consultants in schools
  • technology coordinators who support administrators making decisions related to computers and information technology in the school, frequently individuals in this role will translate technology needs and decisions for educators and educational needs and decisions to technicians and network administrators
  • teachers of programming, multimedia, and productivity applications classes, these individuals are licensed teachers
  • technology-savvy teachers who teach subjects other than computers, but who use technology as an instructional tool
  • technology integration specialists who work to support teachers to use technology in their classrooms, these individuals are usually licensed educators as well who have transitioned to faculty support and development 

In many schools, of course, the boundaries between these jobs blur and a single individual may serve in multiple roles either formally or informally. Just as it is not appropriate to have a teacher providing network support, it is not appropriate to have a network administrator making educational decisions.