Founded in August of 2014, IETL is the premier professional association for school technology leaders in Illinois. As the state chapter of CoSN, the goal of IETL is to elevate CTO skills, advocate for investment in educational technology, and establish and recommend best practices for effective and efficient systems in schools.
“This coming year IETL will be focusing on data security and privacy, federated identity, and communication,” said Phil Morris. “School districts are equivalent to large enterprises and thus should be supported by technology at an enterprise level.”
“iTunes U is the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content that helps educators create and manage courses, including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabi,” explained Morris. “As project manager I curated and vetted the materials to ensure that they met state standards.”
In 2011, Morris designed and created the online health life safety iPad app for Kane County to use while inspecting school buildings. In 2014, the app was implemented statewide by all Regional Offices of Education. Shortly after, another app for compliance was created, and will be used through Illinois as well in 2015.
“We wanted to minimize non-productive tasks, like paperwork and manual data entry, which is time-consuming and also creates vulnerability to errors,” he said. “We were able to ensure all school-related buildings and the neighboring areas are kept safe, and if repairs are needed, they are brought to code in a timely fashion.”
Morris also serves as the lead director of the Area I Learning Technology Center. LTCs have partnered with the Illinois State Board of Education to provide technology-based learning resources to school districts to improve educational opportunities and student achievement throughout the Illinois.
When he’s not leading technology initiatives at the ROE, Morris has been teaching at Aurora University for the past 19 years. He also serves on the advisory board for ILTPP or IlliniCloud and also loves volunteering with the student leadership group Operation Snowball during their weekend trips to Oregon, Illinois.
“From registering 150 kids, to designing the website, to creating a video of the event photos, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to serve as the ‘tech-arm’ for this nonprofit,” explained Morris.
As the master of time management and work-life balance, Morris and his family are also active in skiing, golfing and supporting their greyhound rescue group, REGAP.
“On the weekends, you can find my wife and I advocating for greyhound adoption at local pet stores and through fundraisers,” Morris said. “We have two retired racing greyhounds named Yo Miss Behaven and Yo Ima Stout, and as you can imagine, they keep us pretty busy.”
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Led by Regional Superintendent of Schools Patricia Dal Santo, The Kane County ROE is located in Geneva and serves nine school districts. From teacher license assistance to professional development, the ROE’s mission is to advocate for education, provide leadership and perform regulatory functions. Learn more about the ROE’s offerings on Facebook, Twitter and by signing up for the semimonthly newsletter.