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Dean Folkers
Chief Information Officer

In the late fall of 2016, the Commissioner of Education officially created a Chief Information Officer (CIO) role within the Nebraska Department of Education. The purposes were to 1) create a presence within the Commissioner’s office that ensured technology, data, and communication systems were part of the strategy, planning, policy discussions and ultimate execution of tasks. 2) Coordinate with the processes of working to implement efficiencies, modernization, and alignment of internal operations including aligning support systems for Nebraska schools.

As part of this new NDE division, the priority focuses of alignment include information technology, data collection and use, research and evaluation, project management, communication as well as a deeper focus on digital learning. As one might suspect, implementing alignment and changes, integrating Board and Commissioner priorities, evaluating internal and external processes and systems, evaluating future options and approaches, all while staff are working to maintain current work expectations is challenging to say the least. However, the solutions-focused attitude, innovative approaches, a willingness to adapt and consider the future by our staff all in support of the State Board of Education’s Strategic Plan and Vision has been impressive.

In the coming weeks, I am excited to share insights to work happening in a variety of areas. These include progress updates on Future Ready Nebraska, exploring the transformation is a data collection and use systems known as ADVISER, insights to the Nebraska Education Profile (NEP), some insights of technology changes and training supports, a perspective from the view of the Project Management Office for NDE, opportunities to discuss the use of open education resources by educators in support of digital learning, along with insights to education Innovation occurring within Nebraska schools. These specific initiatives are in addition to the terrific efforts of our NDE communications team.