Michelle Murphy, Superintendent of the Rim of the World Unified School District, reflects on her career in education and three decades of change in EdTech


Michelle Murphy has worked in education for almost 34 years, and she’s seen it all. Starting out as a teacher, she taught elementary students for 14 years, before taking on an assistant principal role for three more years. Climbing the ranks to principal, she spent eight years leading in this role and had the opportunity to open two new schools during this time, which was an incredible learning curve in itself.

Technology Education

Murphy became Director of Elementary Education in Coachella, California – one of the first districts to offer iPads to students in 2017. 20,000 tablets were handed out as part of an effort to improve technology education for pupils in the area, and hand-in-hand with this ramping-up of IT tools for EdTech, Murphy’s superintendent asked her to get her CTO credentials.

“I did that, and was put in charge of that iPad deployment,” she explains. “We were also one of the first school districts to put Wi-Fi routers on our buses, allowing kids to connect to and from school. It was a wonderful opportunity to do something different. I went to Apple and got foundations trained, certified, and graduated from the CTO program. I was a CTO for five years. From there, I wanted to move closer to home, and an opportunity came up to become superintendent at the Rim of the World Unified School District (ROWUSD).”

Digital Futures

Murphy has been leading in her role for the past five years, and now, she’s ready to retire. Eagle-eyed readers may have clocked by now that we’ve spoken to Murphy before; in 2020, we chatted with her about digitalisation in the classroom and prioritising pupils’ future needs to improve that. Now, we’re revisiting the conversation to get Murphy’s perspective on how technology in the classroom has changed across her career – and, more importantly, how she expects EdTech to look in the future.

Read the full story here!


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