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Short version

We’re relaunching our online School Technology Leadership courses and programs today! Woo hoo!

(This is all pending final approval by Faculty Senate)

Long version

It’s Digital Learning Day here in the U.S. As I said in my guest post for the event:

We … need school leaders who can begin envisioning the implications of these [new technology-suffused, globally-interconnected] environmental characteristics for learning, teaching, and schooling. We need administrators who can design and operationalize our learning environments to reflect these new affordances.

I also said:

If a principal or superintendent isn’t receiving [assistance] from the university that prepared her, her state and national leadership associations, her regional education service agency, her state department of education, the federal government, or a corporate or foundation initiative, where is she supposed to get the information and training that she needs to improve her technology leadership skills? From a book or a few web sites?

When we underinvest in the people that control all of the resources that instigate and facilitate change – money, time, training, personnel allocation, structural (re)alignment, organizational mission/vision, etc. – we shouldn’t be surprised when desired changes in our schools fail to materialize. We also shouldn’t be surprised when school administrators make technology-related decisions because of fear, lack of knowledge, or community or political pressure rather than educational appropriateness.

When an administrator’s mental light bulb turns on regarding technology, it’s not just an individual or classroom that’s affected, it’s his entire building or district. As such, it’s time for more attention to [the technology leadership needs of] our principals and superintendents.

Those of us who work in Educational Leadership preparation programs are a big part of the problem. We should be envisioning what it means to prepare P-12 students for the demands of tomorrow and then designing principals’ and superintendents’ preservice experiences so that they then can go out and start to make those things happen. Instead, at best we’re teaching traditional course content online or showing prospective administrators how to use a few tools. That’s if we’re doing anything at all regarding technology (and that’s a BIG if in many/most university programs). Our self-affirmations that we’re ‘integrating technology’ ring hollow.

Graduate certificate, Master’s, or Ph.D. in School Technology Leadership

It is within this context that I announce that we’re relaunching our online School Technology Leadership courses. When I was at the University of Minnesota, we received a federal grant to create the nation’s first graduate program designed to prepare technology-savvy school leaders. Our evaluator, the American Institutes for Research, verified that our program had positive, statistically-significant impacts on participants’ technology leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities. We ran 4 national cohorts through that program before I left. Working with those educators was incredibly wonderful. I can’t express in words how delighted I am that our courses are now available again.

So if you would like a graduate certificate, Master’s degree, or Ph.D. with a focus in School Technology Leadership, this is your chance to go deep in all five of ISTE’s National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A). All courses and programs are online and cohort-based; the Ph.D. program requires a few additional summer visits. All tuition is at the in-state rate. See the links below for more information. (This is all pending final approval from Faculty Senate)

I hope that many of you will apply or will encourage those leaders around you to boost their own technology leadership skills. We’re aiming to start at least one American and one international cohort this Fall but can handle much more if the demand is there. And if we’re not exactly what you’re looking for, check out options from ISTE and Johns Hopkins University, Kennesaw State UniversityLeading Edge Certification, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), Intel, and others. There are 200,000+ school administrators in the U.S. alone. Most of them need a lot of help when it comes to technology, so find a program that best fits their needs and get ’em started!

Additional info about our STL programs