Reminder for Leaders - Recognition Matters

Education technology and those of us who work in it have kind of taken it on the chin over the years. We’re told that it technology too expensive and that we can’t prove the value. Teachers and students complain that they don’t have sufficient support or get enough PD, but those are the first budgets cut. We’re put on the hot seat for getting ready for online assessment without sufficient resources or guidance. Then we get blamed for not protecting student privacy and data security. And why can’t we make up our minds when it comes to devices and BYOD?

I have not exactly been shy about asking tough questions and even criticizing my ed-tech colleagues. I think it’s time that we start recognizing the tremendous efforts of everyone from the “CTO” to the technology aides in schools. While we’re at it, let’s take time to thank teacher leaders, administrators and policymakers that support our efforts. Associations, such as ISTE and CoSN, as well as the vendor community are indispensable.

We forget to do this because most of the people who work in education tend to have an “aw shucks” demeanor when it comes to public recognition and awards. We say we’re not in it for the money, it’s about the kids, we want to make a difference, and so on. All of those are fair and accurate.   

As leaders, we tend to take this for granted, that is, that our staff and others who follow us and otherwise look up to us, are purely intrinsically motivated. But every once in a while I am reminded that a little public recognition, an “at-a-boy” or a “pat on the back,” can mean a lot to those of us who are motivated by our mission. Even a simple “thank you” can make a difference.

Bob Moore has enjoyed a career of 26 years in education technology. His work has included more than two decades as a CIO in K12 schools and several years as lead strategist for a multi-billion dollar global ed-tech business, as well many years of active leadership in organizations such as CoSN. In 2012 Bob founded RJM Strategies LLC and works with schools and ed-tech business clients as a strategist, advisor and subject matter expert. His life’s work is grounded in his tenacious commitment to vision, innovation, integrity and practicality. Follow Bob on Twitter @BobMEdTech. See Bob's Profile and Connect on LinkedIn at

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