Reflecting on the Enterprise Architecture Framework and methodology in education
As a classroom teacher I was mostly concerned with individual systems functioning so that I could effectively do my job. However, my role over the past two years as the Digital Teacher Leader (DTL) and Lead PowerSchool teacher has made me think much differently about strategies and the importance of decision-making, management and planning. My district is using EA to rollout the i21 Initiative. Although certain technological components were easily deployed, such as software, email, databases and PowerSchool, full implementation has not been without pitfalls, and we still have services that are not depended on central technology (non-enterprise services). These include our school cafeteria, library resources and checkout system, and our phone communication system. Overall, I see Enterprise Architecture being beneficial for our school site. However, there are still several areas in need of improvement. Probably the greatest challenges are improving communication between all stakeholders and the integration of an EA Management Plan at the site level. Currently, not all EA policies are integrated with other site policies, and more autonomy at the site level is needed where some of the EA services are being deployed. For example, the deployment and integration of PowerSchool to replace Zangle last year made my role as Lead PowerSchool teacher extremely demanding and frustrating, as I found myself having to train most of the staff to use the grade components of the system and if serious problems arose with PowerSchool, the network technician, site technician, and myself did not have the autonomy to resolve the issue. Even our admin team felt powerless. Instead, we had to wait for someone at the district to fix the problems. Also, in terms of getting our staff up and running on PowerSchool, district trainings were sufficient in terms of teachers being able to use the system for attendance, but not beyond that. Having a new unskilled site tech every month didn’t help the situation.
To be more optimistic, four areas where our school has benefited from EA include: being able to quickly identify and monitor at risk students, identifying areas for program improvement, improved access to technology in the classroom, and EA has helped prioritize funding of programs and projects.
 Zachman, John’s Foreward in Bernard, Scott (2012). An Introduction to Enterprise Architecture (Third edition). Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
Bernard, Scott. (2012). An introduction to enterprise architecture (Third edition). Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
Ross, Jeanne W., and Peter Weill. "Six IT Decisions Your IT People Shouldn't Make." Harvard Business Review, November 2002.