The second critical thing I learned was what it takes to examine the current Enterprise Architecture within a school district. Although it was difficult to collect information about a school district, this was one of the most valuable parts of the course. I learned all about the different departments in the district, the decision makers, and the overall organization and architecture. I also examined how data is used and the current privacy protections in place in the district. This has fully prepared me to work as an educational leader within this district because I am now familiar with the current state of the architecture. Anyone can have an opinion on how things could be improved within a district, but the fact that I have spent quite a bit of time examining the current state, I am better prepared to make suggestions because I know what is already in place. Learning about a specific district and their architecture allowed me to apply what I have learned in this course and was extremely valuable.
The last critical thing I learned was how to take each individual piece of the architecture, break it down to its most detailed level and examine the parts that need improvements. I learned about the resources available that make this type of work possible. For example, we had to complete the application rationalization in which we examined each component part of each application used within the district. We had to examine the data inputs and outputs, functionality, technical support, classifications, process issues, costs and outcomes. This was a valuable way to determine which applications needed immediate replacement and which were functioning well. Having practice in this type of work has equipt me with resources that can be used to implement EA within an organization. It’s one thing to determine which application requires replacing. It’s another thing to analyze each and every detail of applications using standardized scales and being able to present the information in an organized way. I am now prepared to do the latter.
Overall, I am now prepared to make a difference in a big way in my district. I think being a principal is an important job and you can improve many things at a school site. However, the work in this course has prepared me to make a difference at the district level. I can help advise how successful the district is right now and how it can be improved. I couldn’t do this alone, but I feel like now I would be a valuable asset to a team that would work to improve the overall organization and architecture of the district.