Director, Education Technology

Challenger Center - Washington D.C., District of Columbia - Full time

About Challenger Center:

Challenger Center is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that inspires, engages, and prepares today’s students for the future through innovative, K-12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs. With our global network of more than 40 Challenger Learning Centers, we give more than 250,000 students each year the opportunity to become scientists, engineers, and innovators and to work together on inspiring missions like finding life on Mars or preserving ocean species. Through our programs, students apply STEM concepts in the context of real-world challenges; they are exposed to a range of STEM careers; and they practice important skills like teamwork, communication, and problem solving.

Position Summary

The Director, Education Technology (Education Software Program/Product Design) is a member of the Education team, which creates software-driven programs and products that are delivered to students in Challenger Learning Centers and K-12 school settings. He/she will develop a deep understanding of our proprietary software and will create a technical road map that outlines future development of these systems.

In addition, the Director, Education Technology will manage our technology vendors, including software developers and cloud-based distribution platforms. He/she will help translate our programmatic specifications – which involve standards-based content, videos, graphics, hands-on activities, assessment/evaluation requirements – into technical specifications. He/she will be the primary liaison with the vendors as they develop our programs. The Director will manage physical and virtual servers and will help us implement patches and updates.

Description of Duties

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

Education Software and Program/Product Design:

  • Collaborate with educators in the design, development, and delivery of software-driven education software programs and products.
  • Develop a robust understanding of our software systems, both current and legacy, and the Challenger Learning Centers and schools where they are delivered.
  • Develop, refine, and execute a technical roadmap for improving and scaling our education programs, products and systems.
  • Strengthen Challenger Center’s software development process, ensuring that best practices are followed for design, testing, and rollout phases.
  • Contribute to authoring in our software systems including HTML/Java Script coding.
  • Oversee and manage software login and reporting systems.

Management and Strategy:

  • Ensure development of appropriate and necessary documentation for all products, programs and systems.
  • Develop and manage larger scale projects. This includes managing budgets and timelines; ensuring deliverables are completed on time; coordinating with other teams as needed; identifying road blocks and providing solutions; and ensuring all other teams are aware of progress and expectations. May also oversee smaller scale projects.
  • Create and manage program/project budgets and timelines. Work with leadership to develop annual department budget(s).
  • Manage outside contractors/vendors and partners, including development of scope of work, budgets, timelines and contracts.
  • Manage completion of required and necessary reporting documents for key stakeholders including the board of directors and grantors/funders. Collect information and appropriate data from appropriate teams. Ensure reports are accurate and on time.
  • Play a substantial role in the development of annual department plan and execution of the plan to meet goals. Ensure progress is being made to reach overall strategic goals.
  • Follow Challenger Center’s Project Management Process for each education program/product development project.

Administration:

  • Help manage office IT vendor relationship (~10% of duties).
  • Keep abreast of information technology and education technology trends and share knowledge with others.
  • Proactively identify and pursue opportunities to represent Challenger Center at conferences, meetings and special events as appropriate and/or requested (participant/attendee, speaker/panelist).
  • Identify and share funding and partnership opportunities and assist with proposal as needed, including drafting content, securing vendor commitment, and estimating budgets related to technology components.
  • Attend staff meetings, assist with office support, participate in professional networking, and team building activities. Support other administrative duties as needed.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s degree in information or education technology required; master’s degree preferred.
  • Experience in designing software to be delivered in education environments.
  • 10+ years of relevant experience (IT, program/product design and development, software development/management, education technology). Experience in education technology preferred.
  • Experience with cloud-based delivery systems required, Amazon Web Services preferred.
  • Experience managing servers and virtual machines required, vSphere, VMWare a plus.
  • Ability to code in HTML 5/6/Java Script environments required.
  • Adobe Creative suite knowledge strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of current classroom technologies and how traditional learning environments are changing due to new tools and instructional models preferred.
  • Experience translating programmatic needs into technical specifications and vice versa.
  • Experience managing multiple projects and deadlines, and shift priorities and resources as needed.
  • Experience managing external vendors and partners.
  • Experience creating complex project budgets.
  • Experience with grant funded programming preferred.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively with all staff across all teams.
  • Self-starter, able to work independently.
  • Ability to travel approximately 20% of the time.

Benefits:

We value our employees’ time and efforts. Our commitment to your success is enhanced by our competitive compensation and extensive benefits package including paid time off, medical, dental and vision benefits, 401k, and future growth opportunities within the company. Plus, we work to maintain the best possible environment for our employees, where people can learn and grow with the company. We strive to provide a collaborative, creative environment where each person feels encouraged to contribute to our processes, decisions, planning and culture.

Challenger Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

To Apply:

Send a resume and cover letter with salary requirements to careers@challenger.org with Director Education Technology in the subject line. Only applicants who submit all requirements will be considered. Due to the number of applicants we receive, we regret that we can only respond to candidates that we would like to interview.

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Role

Product Management

Experience Level

Mid Level

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