There have been many different conversations recently about
issues and concerns with technology, leadership, and education. See example 1, example 2, example 3, example
, and example 5. Sorry for the
simplicity of the links to those examples but it is past my bedtime:)


I think the solution to address those issues in school
districts begins with a superintendent who is future thinking, collaborative,
and open to the possibilities that exist. I frequently hear from district and school administrators who are
overburdened with the complexities and demands of NCLB, reduced funding (for
Title programs, among others), and trying to lead learning communities in difficult places. It is easy, and
sometimes understandable, for administrators operate out of a myopic vision of
the here and now. That of course leads
to other problems like the narrowing of the curriculum and throwing the
advancement of technology out the window. On paradigms: you see it because
you believe it means that you have to get people thinking of the possibilities
rather than staying trapped in the problems of today. School districts will not move forward
without people beginning to think of the possibilities. Reeves has a point in saying that action
drives belief (see previous post) (it is certainly reinforcing) but if you are in a place with no action, complete stagnation,  then you have to begin with beliefs (like finding
that hope for the future) or in people’s beliefs that there can be a better
way.  A solution begins with a
superintendent with a broad, deep, compelling vision of what a school district
should be all about including and especially technologically. The next part involves leading from the fine
line of trying to get everyone on board versus telling everyone what to
do. Leading from either extreme will
prove fruitless. You can’t wait for
everyone to get on board in order to create change, but you have to get a
critical mass that is willing and excited to move forward in creating a new
reality. The task of moving an entire
district involves tapping into the passions and ideas of many, many
people. That is where the idea of a
collaborative plan comes into play. It
will take you to systemic reform. That
is the type of plan I talked about yesterday.


I would love to hear from you:

What leadership paradigms do you think it takes to create
change in a school district?  What would
you do if you were the superintendent of a school district that has lost its


A final thought (from an earlier post on this site)(I just had to replay this one):


If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance
even less.
                        – US Army Chief
of Staff Eric Shinseki



Posted by Steve Poling.