Why this first-time attendee and speaker is excited about FETC 2024

Chris Higle has long awaited the opportunity to attend FETC because, he says, "It looks amazing." Here's what he'll have to offer attendees at the Future of Education Technology conference in January.

“I know there’s a lot of really good presenters and people out there, and I’m just excited to share our story.”

That’s according to Chris Higle, chief technology officer at the Ceres Unified School District in California, who will be attending the Future of Education Technology Conference for the first time ever—as a presenter.

Higle and his team across the district’s IT department are known for their “transformational” work through technology solutions, a goal many other like-minded K12 technology leaders share. Unfortunately, there’s little guidance out there for folks like Chris on how to achieve such a priority.

“I think this transformation and improvement work in K12 technology… it turns out there’s not a playbook for it,” he told District Administration.

“I think that’s been my struggle. Last year, we were evaluating all of our systems, our processes, and it kept coming up, ‘Oh, you need to be putting in best practice and ITSM (IT Service Management).’ And I’d say, ‘Great, how do you do it?'”

There’s an abundance of resources available for IT leaders that offer some sort of guidance, Higle adds. But at the end of the day, most professionals are left on their own to figure out the work themselves.

“There’s no playbook that I’ve found that says step by step on how to do that,” he says. “So I really want to share that with people. There are some great resources and strategies in the presentation. I think people can benefit from it.”

“I want it to be a presentation that I would want to go to,” he adds. “I’d want to go to a presentation where you walk away with a couple of nuggets, some ideas and things that you can implement immediately.”

“That’s what I hope to provide people. Here’s our story, our journey and some great resources, and here’s how we started. It won’t be a whole lot of talk about technology. It’ll be more about strategic things you can actually do to achieve this kind of work in your environment.”

‘This has been on my radar for a long time’

Higle has long awaited the opportunity to attend FETC because he says “It looks amazing.” When he’s not presenting, he looks forward to simply seeing what’s out there beyond his scope as a CTO, because he believes it’s imperative to be knowledgeable of all things happening in K12 education.

“I don’t typically like to just stay in like IT tech lane,” he explains. “I like to look at the administrative and the educational side. I think as a technology leader in a school district, you have to do that.”

Micah Ward
Micah Wardhttps://districtadministration.com
Micah Ward is a District Administration staff writer. He recently earned his master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Alabama. He spent his time during graduate school working on his master’s thesis. He’s also a self-taught guitarist who loves playing folk-style music.

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