Andover's Rob Dickson '20 to Watch' honoree

The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Technology Leadership Network (TLN) recently announced its “20 to Watch” honorees for 2013-14. These distinctive education leaders from across the country are recognized for their ability to inspire colleagues to incorporate innovative technology solutions that contribute to high-quality learning environments and more efficient school district operations.

“The ‘20 to Watch’ honorees offer real-world examples of how new technologies are being used to impact learning and how these new tools may influence or inform policy,” said Thomas J Gentzel, NSBA’s executive director. “From BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and the Make Movement to virtual schools and the increased use of the cloud, these inspirational pioneers are paving the way.”

Ann Flynn, NSBA’s direction of education technology, shared common characteristics across honorees include their willingness to take risks, share learnings with colleagues, and inspire others to believe that they, too, can effectively use technology.

“Their voices and experience will inform local, district and state approaches to education technology decisions for years to come,” Flynn said.

Rob Dickson, director of technology for Andover Public Schools, is one of the honorees. Dickson’s understanding of how technology should support student learning contributed to his district’s ranking among the “top 10” digital districts in the nation four of the past five years. Key among Dickson’s accomplishments are leading the first VBlock cloud data center installation in K-12 education and serving as an advisor of the BLE group helping schools across the country with their technology planning and integration.

Dickson said, “I am so honored to have been recognized as one of the ‘20 to Watch’ in the nation. The educators included in this honor are a fantastic group of people, and I am thrilled to be recognized alongside them. I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had in Andover in the field of education technology. I have a passion to provide the best education experience possible for all students, including my three daughters, and I'm always excited to see it come together in a way that works well for students, teachers and staff.”

This is the eighth year of the “20 to Watch.” This year’s honorees were honored at the Consortium for School Networking Conference earlier this month in Washington, D.C., along with a TLN-hosted luncheon at NSBA’s 2014 Annual Conference in New