I was delighted to see Miguel Guhlin’s fictional response last week to Anne Davis’ draft letter requesting permission to use Flickr in a hypothetical school district. The brilliant part of Miguel’s letter was not his reasoned iteration of Flickr’s weaknesses. Rather, it was the list of alternatives that Miguel provided that might possibly satisfy both the teacher’s desires as well as the district’s concerns.
As noted in the comments to Miguel’s blog post, most administrators would be hard-pressed to craft such a thoughtful response. Most leaders in formal positions of authority (i.e., superintendents and/or principals) are not familiar enough with technology in general and with Web 2.0 tools specifically. Many of the folks who may have the requisite technology knowledge, such as technology coordinators or CTOs, either don’t have enough the educational background to effectively respond to the teacher’s instructional concerns or are so busy that they’re likely to just dash off a quick note of denial without further explanation.
We need more model communications like this. We also need to expose our school leaders to such models so that they can get a sense of what is out there and how they can effectively and appropriately respond to the technology tool issues that are arising in our schools.
Does anyone know of other exchanges like this one that would be good models for preservice and/or practicing administrators?