Q&A: District 197 Director of Technology Dave Sandum
Patch discusses plans for the coming school year with the district's new Director of Technology.
As the school year begins for Independent School District 197, changes are underway in the district’s technology department.
In July, the school board approved the hiring of Dave Sandum as the Director of Technology for ISD 197. Sandum, who is the first person to fill this new district position, began work in August.
Patch recently chatted with Sandum, who shared his perspective on technology, education and the future of District 197.
Mendota Heights Patch: Dave, if you could just start out by telling me a little bit about your background and your professional history with technology work in education?
ISD 197 Director of Technology Dave Sandum: I’ve actually been in technology for pretty close to 20 years, but my background in education has been in the last seven years. I started in education at Eden Prairie Schools in 2006 and I was their Director of Technology for the school district up until I started here at 197.
Patch: Tell me about the new Director of Technology position. I understand that this position is new this year and I’d love to hear what it will bring to the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area School District.
Sandum: The director level position is a new position and it’s out of alignment with their strategic vision of the district … They felt they needed to elevate the level of leadership in technology as a department in order to meet the goals and objectives.
Patch: What changes can parents expect to see regarding education and technology in the coming months and years?
Sandum: There will be an increased focus on the importance of tech integration to enhance the non-tested skills of students. For example, their 21st century skills. And by that I mean skills of organization, collaboration, global thinking, valuing other cultures — those types of skills.
Patch: What, in your opinion, is technology’s role in education?
Sandum: Technology’s role in education is to amplify excellent teaching. So, technology isn’t a cause and effect for kids having great outcomes. Technology enables very creative ways for kids to be able to build their skills and also amplifies ways that teachers are able to effectively deliver instruction.