The Laboratory School’s community values learning experientially, exhibiting kindness, and honoring diversity. Mission alignment is an important goal for not only the technology program but also the Director of Technology. Lab champions an education steeped in critical thinking and rigor and experiential learning. The Director serves two distinct purposes:
To provide vision and direction for a unified model, in which the goal of technology is to align with and serve the needs of the educational program. Serve as the IT lead for Lab to University IT leadership to advocate for the needs of N-12 students & faculty, coordinate policy & infrastructure initiatives, and coordinate with other campus units on areas of shared interest.
The Director of Technology will have responsibility for critical all-school systems and infrastructure, including enterprise applications and databases, collaboration suites, and end-user hardware deployments. This is accomplished through the leadership of the Information Systems team comprised of eight people who specialize in education technology, helpdesk, systems administration, and procurement.
On the educational side, the IS department dedicates staff to support academic initiatives. These specialists work with World Language teachers and Early Childhood faculty on various integration projects. The next Director of Innovation & Technology will have the opportunity to evaluate what adjustments, if any, might be needed to enhance the instructional technology integration program.
From a hardware perspective, Lab deploys school-owned iPads to Nursery through Grade 5 classrooms and runs a 1:1 laptop program in the Middle School. Google Workspace is the main collaboration suite; Schoology is the school-wide learning management system, and PowerSchool is the student information system. Most major enterprise systems that support administrative departments are successfully managed with limited support resources.
While the Director of Technology will oversee the entire IS department, the largest areas of focus will be on the school’s educational program. Following are four opportunities and challenges for the next Director to address: Educational program outreach—The Lab community seeks a director with an open-minded, “yes” mindset. Faculty members can benefit from a technology partner willing and eager to discuss and explore new ideas. Those partnerships will come by working primarily in the field, not from a desk, to establish an authentic campus presence and to learn about the needs of the individual schools as well as the individual teachers. The job will require energy, an outgoing personality, and a fair amount of listening and collaboration to support creative interdisciplinary projects. The Director should be knowledgeable of and passionate about technology integration and instructional design, and also possess a flexible, high-EQ mindset recognizing that one-size does not fit all.
Teacher partnership and professional development—Professional development will be embedded on the critical path to success at Lab. Educators continually learn and seek to improve at their craft. At the same time, the faculty need a professional development model that reflects a diverse set of interests and proficiencies with technology. Teachers will want to learn with an education technology leader who, like them, is a skilled educator—someone who has been in the classroom and who knows how to deliver differentiated learning opportunities.
IT services—Delivering reliable IT services (The 5 Nines standard) has become an expectation at Lab. The school has made significant investments to upgrade and expand network resources and benefits from stellar partnership with the University of Chicago IT department. Meanwhile, as technology plays an increasing role in the fabric of the teaching and learning program, a natural tension will arise between risk management concerns, like security and access, and academic needs for flexibility and nimbleness. The next Director should be adept at balancing these competing interests and helping administration, faculty, staff, students, and families understand the big picture. Above all else, the entire community wants the Director to lead an IS department that embraces a partnership-first mindset with the various campus constituencies.
Collaboration as a path to adaptive change—Lab is not an organization where major changes come from top-down directives. The 1:1 program in the Middle School, for example, was the result of years of thoughtful introspection and campus-wide discussion. The next Director of Innovation & Technology will have the opportunity to facilitate conversations among the faculty about emerging topics that emanate from the intersection of technology, innovation, and pedagogy. How can computational thinking exist at Lab as a core discipline? What role might coding and makerspaces play in a school where students are already exposed to immersive experiential learning environments? What does effective online learning look like, and how might this technology augment the existing program? These are questions that senior administrators, educators, and students would welcome exploring with an expert facilitator and thought partner.
Opportunities abound for the successful candidate. The community is well-positioned to embark on a technology journey, grounded in generative, mission-aligned discussions. The next Director will have the support and appreciation of an ambitious and thoughtful senior leadership team as the technology program plays an increasingly vital role in realizing the strategic goals of this renowned institution.
Develops a mission-aligned educational technology strategy that inspires and serves faculty and students.
Designs, delivers and manages major professional development and growth experiences for faculty in areas of technology integration and instructional design.
Evaluates emerging technology and assessment tools and guides senior academic leaders on strategic and operational decisions involving instructional technology hardware, software, and programs.
Promotes the use of technology in interdisciplinary projects in classes and in makerspaces.
Assesses the effectiveness of, and leads efforts to improve, the School’s implementation of technology tools for instructional purposes.
Inspires the technology team and the faculty community to model and support best practices in innovation, technology integration, and instructional design.
Builds and maintains strong partnerships with teachers to develop and implement dynamic classroom projects involving technology integration.
Establishes partnerships with outside organizations to support the strategic goals of an educational technology program at Lab.
Oversees the IS team and third-party vendor partners.
Partners with University IT Services to advocate for the needs of N-12 students and faculty, and coordinate policy and infrastructure initiatives.
Ensures that IT infrastructure, hardware, and systems are successfully deployed and meeting end-user needs.
Confirms that recommended changes from IT audits are successfully implemented.
Ensures that all members of the community receive sufficient training and support.
Supports and guides school leadership on strategic and operational decisions involving technology infrastructure and enterprise data systems.
Ensures that information technology and systems transitional projects are successfully managed.
Establishes and evaluates technology policies, procedures, and processes in areas such as: end-user support, data management, network access, data privacy, SOPPA, COPPA, FERPA, and content filtering.
Serves on or leads committees related to technology and academics.
Serves on the academic, and finance and operations leadership teams.
Works closely with principals of the four divisions.
Maintains an active presence in the local and national technology communities.
Develops and maintains departmental budgets, policies, and procedures.
Prepares long- and short-range plans for application selection, software systems development, systems maintenance, production activities, and necessary support resources.
Evaluates vendor proposals for the purchase of hardware, software, and technical services to ensure adherence to technical specifications.
Perform other duties as assigned.
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
Graduate degree in management, educational technology, education, or related field.
Working knowledge of academic technology integration and relevant professional training.
?Background as a fiscal manager with both operating and capital budgets.
Classroom teaching experience, preferably in a school setting with Grades 6–12.
A commitment to Lab’s mission and values.
Accomplished in leading workshops, training, and projects related to technology integration, instructional design, end-user training, and technology support.
Background supervising employees, preferably in an educational or technology setting.
Capacity to lead a comprehensive school IT program.
Excellent organizational skills.
Develop deep connections and partnerships with faculty and staff.
An eye on the horizon of emerging educational technology systems and paradigms, with an understanding of how to thoughtfully explore and evaluate such opportunities.
Strong communication skills—written, verbal, presentational, and instructional— that support a community of diverse technology learners and adopters.
Collaborative, cooperative, and growth mindset.
Integrity, empathy, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Consensus-building leadership style.
Possess humility with a sense of humor and a hunger to achieve in the interest of students.
Visionary leadership that is in tune with the needs of a dynamic faculty.
Standard office-type physical qualifications as outlined by the University of Chicago.
Cover Letter (required)
Professional References Contact Information (3)(required)
The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools provide one of the world's most outstanding pre-collegiate educational experiences. Because Lab is part of the University of Chicago, the importance of intellectual life—of thought and exploration—infuses all aspects of our curriculum, and students in every grade benefit from outstanding UChicago academicians and access to unmatched resources. John Dewey—one of the great minds in education—established the Schools in 1896 as a place to explore and implement his theories on childhood education. Today’s students still benefit from his vision, and today’s Lab faculty are recognized as experienced leaders in their field.
Families who choose Lab care deeply about curiosity, inquiry, and creativity. Approximately 60 percent of Lab families are affiliated with the University, half live in Hyde Park, and the rest come from across Chicago, the suburbs, and northern Indiana. Lab’s student body reflects the diversity that is deeply valued by the Schools and its community; approximately half of our 2,000 students are people of color and families report speaking nearly 40 different languages in their homes.
The Laboratory Schools seek the fine...st employees—people who wish to inspire a love of learning in our students and join a vibrant learning community. We employ people with a wide range of skills and training, in many different disciplines. At Lab, we value learning experientially, exhibiting kindness, and honoring diversity. We seek employees who share a similar commitment to these values. Lab people are engaged and excited by our mission of igniting and nurturing an enduring spirit of scholarship, curiosity, creativity, and confidence in the youngest members of the University of Chicago’s academic community.
The Laboratory Schools is a great place to work and our connection to the University provides our faculty and staff with opportunities that would be nearly impossible to match in any other environment.
Interested candidates should apply via our website at: http://www.ucls.uchicago.edu/about-lab/employment
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