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7 building blocks for the future of schools

Leadershipday2013

If I had the chance to build a new school organization (or redesign an existing one), I would start by attending to the educational movements listed below. Every year we see these initiatives gain further ground in traditional educational systems. I see these as basic building blocks for the future of schooling and think that leaders and policymakers should be working toward greater implementation of all of these, both individually and in concert…

  1. Competency-based education and standards-based grading efforts that shift the focus from seat time to learning mastery.
  2. Project- and inquiry-based learning environments that emphasize greater student agency and active application of more cognitively-complex thinking, communication, and collaboration skills.
  3. 1:1 computing initiatives (and concurrent Internet bandwidth upgrades) that give students powerful digital learning devices and access to the world’s information, individuals, and organizations.
  4. The expansion of digital and online (and often open access) information resources that increase the availability of higher and deeper learning opportunities.
  5. Online communities of interest that supplement and augment more-traditional learning communities that are limited by geography and time.
  6. Adaptive software and data systems (and accompanying organizational models) that can facilitate greater individualization of learning content and pace.
  7. Alternative credentialing mechanisms that enable individuals to quickly reskill for and adapt to rapidly-evolving workforce needs and economic demands.
  8. ADDED: Simulations and problem-based learning experiences that foster students’ ability to engage in authentic, real-world work. (hat tip: Trent Grundmeyer)

What did I miss here? What would you revise or add to this list? Most importantly, how well is your school organization doing at paying attention to these 7 key components of future learning environments?

[I'm five days late with this, my own Leadership Day post. I figure that's okay; we've always accepted stragglers! Thank you, everyone, for your fabulous posts to celebrate this annual event!]

Calling all bloggers! – Leadership Day 2013

August 15 is the 7th anniversary of my blog. So, once again, I’m inviting everyone who’s interested to help me celebrate by participating in Leadership Day 2013!

Over the past 6 years, we’ve had over 400 Leadership Day posts. That’s awesome because, to paraphrase what I said six years ago,

many of our school leaders (principals, superintendents, central office administrators) need help when it comes to digital technologies. A lot of help, to be honest. As I’ve noted again and again on this blog, most school administrators don’t know

  • what it means to prepare students for the digital, global world in which we now live;
  • how to recognize, evaluate, and facilitate effective technology usage by students and teachers;
  • what appropriate technology support structures (e.g., budget, staffing, infrastructure, training) look like or how to implement them;
  • how to utilize modern technologies to facilitate communication with internal and external stakeholders;
  • the ways in which learning technologies can improve student learning outcomes;
  • how to utilize technology systems to make their organizations more efficient and effective;
  • and so on…

Administrators’ lack of knowledge is not entirely their fault. Many of them didn’t grow up with computers. Other than basic management or data analysis technologies, many are not using digital tools or online systems on a regular basis. Few have received training from their employers or their university preparation programs on how to use, think about, or be a leader regarding digital technologies.

So let’s help.

How to participate

  1. On Thursday, August 15, 2013, blog about whatever you like related to effective school technology leadership: successes, challenges, reflections, needs, wants, resources, ideas, etc. Write a letter to the administrators in your area. Post a top ten list. Make a podcast or a video or a voice-narrated presentation. Highlight a local success or challenge. Recommend some readings. Create an app, game, or simulation. Draw a cartoon. Do an interview of a successful technology leader. Respond to some of the questions below or make up your own. If you participated in years past, post a follow-up reflection. Whatever strikes you.
  2. The official hashtag is #leadershipday13
  3. TO ENSURE THAT WE CAN FIND YOUR POST, please complete the online submission form AFTER you post, including a short teaser that will drive traffic to your post. Everyone then will be able to see your post in the complete list of submissions. If you want to link back to this post or leave a link to yours in the comment area, that’s okay too!

Some prompts to spark your thinking

  • What do effective P-12 technology leaders do? What actions and behaviors can you point to that make them effective leaders in the area of technology?
  • Do administrators have to be technology-savvy themselves in order to be effective technology leaders in their organizations?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that administrators can take to move their school organizations forward?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that can be taken to move administrators themselves forward? Given the unrelenting pressures that they face and their ever-increasing time demands, what are some things that administrators can do to become more knowledgeable and skilled in the area of technology leadership?
  • Perhaps using the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A) as a starting point, what are the absolutely critical skills or abilities that administrators need to be effective technology leaders?
  • What strengths and deficiencies are present in the NETS-A?
  • What are some of the biggest challenges and barriers to administrators being better technology leaders (and how do we address them)?
  • What is a technology tool that would be extremely useful for a busy administrator (i.e., one he or she probably isn’t using now)?
  • What should busy administrators be reading (or watching) that would help them be better technology leaders? What are some other resources that would help them be better technology leaders?
  • How can administrators best structure necessary conversations with internal or external stakeholders regarding technology?
  • How should administrators balance enablement with safety, risk with reward, fear with empowerment?
  • When it comes to P-12 technology leadership, where do we need new knowledge, understanding, training, or research?
  • What are (or might be) some successful models of technology leadership training for school administrators?
  • How might preservice preparation programs for administrators better incorporate elements of technology leadership?
  • When you think of (in)effective P-12 technology leadership, what comes to mind?

Here are the 405 ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT posts from the past six years (405!)

A badge for your blog or web site

Leadershipday2013

I hope you will join us for this important day because, I promise you, if the leaders don’t get it, it’s not going to happen.

Participant checklist

Internet safety talking points: IT pushback

Internetpadlock

A lot of people found value in my Internet safety talking points for school leaders, including Cory Doctorow, Bruce Schneier, and Tim Cushing. The post now has been tweeted, liked, pinned, and shared over 1,000 times. I shared a PDF version with superintendents earlier this week. But a school IT employee in Eastern Iowa thought it was ‘adversarial’ and ‘hateful.’

I spoke with her yesterday on the phone for about 30 minutes. She was extremely offended by B, spoke vociferously against Google and Facebook (although her school system is not blocking them), couldn’t wrap her head around E or F, thought G and H were untrue (and didn’t want to hear about the research done by danah boyd and the Berkman Center that is behind those statements), and stated that the Bonus was insulting. Needless to say, our conversation didn’t result in a meeting of the minds. I encouraged her to voice her concerns in the comment area so that we all could have a dialogue but she didn’t think that school IT people read my blog and believed that she would not get a fair shake. Her final statement to me was that she was now worried that her school administrator would be breathing down her neck and asking her more questions about the decisions that she’s making. I responded that I thought that was a good thing since we all need to be regularly reconsidering and reexamining our policies and decision-making in light of both learning and teaching considerations and the rapid changes that are occurring in our information landscape. That’s when she thanked me for the call and decided it was time for us to be done.

The transcript of her voice mail message is below. Any thoughts or reactions to this?

Dr. McLeod, I had hoped I could speak with you directly. You don’t know me but I just read your article on administrators and how they should think about Internet safety and, as a 25-year veteran of IT, I want to say that I’m completely offended. This is just sad that you’re setting up this adversarial relationship between administrators and IT with the tone of your letter here and if you think that’s going to help the situation by getting IT departments angry, because that’s what this article will do. Obviously you’ve got some issues there with filtering. I would be surprised if the University of Kentucky is blocking. We don’t block any of the sites you mention but you’re leaving out a lot of very important things regarding the CIPA law with K-12, regarding E-Rate funding, regarding attacks of viruses, malware – it’s just a really simplistic approach when I look at this. I’m really disappointed in that but I don’t think my voice mail’s probably going to change your idea, I just think that you’d be doing everyone a service to not be having such an angry, resentful type of article like that which does nothing more than put a divide between two departments that, by the way, don’t work for each other, they partner with each other. So I would say you might want to rethink that and maybe even present a different article that’s a little less hateful. Thanks.

26 Internet safety talking points

[UPDATE: A PDF version of these talking points is now available.]

For Leadership Day 2012, I thought I would gather in one place many of the talking points that I use with principals and superintendents about Internet safety…

  1. InternetpadlockEven though they may use fancy terms and know more than you do about their domain, you never would allow your business manager or special education coordinator to operate without oversight. So stop doing so with your technology coordinator.
  2. The technology function of your school organization exists to serve the educational function, not the other way around. Corollary: your technology coordinator works for you, not vice versa.
  3. Mobile phones, Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube, blogs, Wikispaces, Google, and whatever other technologies you’re blocking are not inherently evil. Stop demonizing them and focus on people’s behavior, not the tools, particularly when it comes to making policy.
  4. You don’t need special policies for specific tools. Just check that the policies you have are inclusive of electronic communication channels and then enforce the policies you already have on bullying, cheating, sexual harassment, inappropriate communication, illicit behavior, etc.
  5. Why are you penalizing the 95% for the 5%? You don’t do this in other areas of discipline at school. Even though you know some students will use their voices or bodies inappropriately in school, you don’t ban everyone from speaking or moving. You know some students may show up drunk to the prom, yet you don’t cancel the prom because of a few rule breakers. Instead, you assume that most students will act appropriately most of the time and then you enforce reasonable expectations and policies for the occasional few that don’t. To use a historical analogy, it’s the difference between DUI-style policies and flat-out Prohibition (which, if you recall, failed miserably). Just as you don’t put entire schools on lockdown every time there’s a fight in the cafeteria, you need to stop penalizing entire student bodies because of statistically-infrequent, worst-case scenarios.
  6. You never can promise 100% safety. For instance, you never would promise a parent that her child would never, ever be in a fight at school. So quit trying to guarantee 100% safety when it comes to technology. Provide reasonable supervision, implement reasonable procedures and policies, and move on.
  7. The ‘online predators will prey on your schoolchildren’ argument is a false bogeyman, a scare tactic that is fed to us by the media, politicians, law enforcement, and computer security vendors. The number of reported incidents in the news of this occurring is zero.
  8. Federal laws do not require your draconian filtering. You can’t point the finger somewhere else. You have to own it yourself.
  9. Students and teachers rise to the level of the expectations that you have for them. If you expect the worst, that’s what you’ll get.
  10. Schools that ‘loosen up’ with students and teachers find that they have no more problems than they did before. And, often, they have fewer problems because folks aren’t trying to get around the restrictions.
  11. There’s a difference between a teachable moment and a punishable moment. Lean toward the former as much as possible.
  12. If your community is pressuring you to be more restrictive, that’s when it’s time to educate, not capitulate. Overzealous blocking and filtering has real and significant negative impacts on information access, student learning, pedagogy, ability to address required curricular standards, and educators’ willingness to integrate technology. It also makes it awfully tough to prepare students for a digital era.
  13. ‘Walled garden’ online environments prevent the occurrence of serendipitous learning connections with the outside world.
  14. If you’re prohibiting teachers from being ‘friends’ with students online, are you also prohibiting them from being ‘friends’ with students in neighborhoods, at church, in volunteer organizations, at the mall, and in other non-school settings?
  15. Schools with mindsets of enabling powerful student learning usually block much less than those that don’t. Their first reaction is ‘how can we make this work?’ rather than ‘we need to keep this out.’
  16. As the lead learner, it’s your responsibility to actively monitor what’s being filtered and blocked and to always reconsider that in light of learning and teaching needs.
  17. If you trust your teachers with the children, you should trust them with the Internet. Addendum: Mistrust of teachers drives away good educators.
  18. If you make it too hard to get permission to unblock something, you might as well not have the option in the first place.
  19. Unless you like losing lawsuits, remember that students and staff have speech and privacy rights, particularly off-campus. Remember that any dumb decision you make is Internet fodder and has a good chance of going viral online. Do you really want to be the next stupid administrator story on The Huffington Post?
  20. When you violate the Constitution and punish kids just because you don’t like what they legally said or did and think you can get away with it, you not only run the risk of incurring financial liability for your school system in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars but also abuse your position of trust and send messages to students about the corruption of power and disregard for the rule of law.
  21. Never make a policy you can’t enforce.
  22. Don’t abdicate your teaching responsibility. Students do not magically gain the ability at the end of the school day or after graduation to navigate complex, challenging, unfiltered digital information spaces. If you don’t teach them how to navigate the unfiltered Internet appropriately and safely while you have them, who’s going to?
  23. Acceptable use and other policies send messages to students, staff, and parents. Is the predominant message that you want to send really that ‘the technologies that are transforming everything around us should first and foremost be feared?’
  24. Imagine a scale with two balancing pans. On one side are all of the anxieties, fears, barriers, challenges, and perceived problems that your staff, parents, and community members put forth. If you want effective technology integration and implementation to occur in your school system, it is your job as the leader to tip the scale the other way. Addendum: It is difficult to understand the learning power of digital technologies – and easy to dismiss their pedagogical usefulness – if you are not familiar enough with them to understand their positive affordances.
  25. In a hyperconnected, technology-suffused, digital, global world, you do your children a disservice – and highlight your irrelevance – by blocking out our present and their future.
  26. Educating is always, always more powerful than blocking.

BONUS 1. Elsewhere in your state – perhaps even near you – are school districts that have figured this out. They operate under the same laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that you do. If they can be less restrictive, why can’t you?

A huge thanks to everyone who has influenced my thinking and my writing in this area, including folks like Doug Johnson, Sylvia Martinez, danah boyd, Will Richardson, and Tina Barseghian. I’m sure that I’ve forgotten a few talking points that I’ll just add later. Which one is your favorite (or least favorite)? What would you add to or change on this list?

For other Leadership Day 2012 posts, see the complete list of submissions and/or #leadershipday12.

Image credit: Bigstock, Internet security

Calling all bloggers! – Leadership Day 2012

August is Connected Educator Month and Wednesday is the 6th anniversary of my blog. I can think of no better way to celebrate both than to host Leadership Day 2012! To paraphrase what I said five years ago:

Many of our school leaders (principals, superintendents, central office administrators) need help when it comes to digital technologies. A lot of help, to be honest. As I’ve noted again and again on this blog, most school administrators don’t know

  • what it means to prepare students for the digital, global world in which we now live;
  • how to recognize, evaluate, and facilitate effective technology usage by students and teachers;
  • what appropriate technology support structures (e.g., budget, staffing, infrastructure, training) look like or how to implement them;
  • how to utilize modern technologies to facilitate communication with internal and external stakeholders;
  • the ways in which learning technologies can improve student learning outcomes;
  • how to utilize technology systems to make their organizations more efficient and effective;
  • and so on…

Administrators’ lack of knowledge is not entirely their fault. Many of them didn’t grow up with computers. Other than basic management or data analysis technologies, many are not using digital tools or online systems on a regular basis. Few have received training from their employers or their university preparation programs on how to use, think about, or be a leader regarding digital technologies.

So let’s help them out.

How to participate

  1. On Wednesday, August 15, 2012, blog about whatever you like related to effective school technology leadership: successes, challenges, reflections, needs, wants, resources, ideas, etc. Write a letter to the administrators in your area. Post a top ten list. Make a podcast or a video or a voice-narrated presentation. Highlight a local success or challenge. Recommend some readings. Create an app, game, or simulation. Draw a cartoon. Do an interview of a successful technology leader. Respond to some of the questions below or make up your own. If you participated in years past, post a follow-up reflection. Whatever strikes you.
  2. The official hashtag is #leadershipday12
  3. TO ENSURE THAT WE CAN FIND YOUR POST, please complete the online submission form AFTER you post, including a short teaser that will drive traffic to your post. Everyone then will be able to see your post in the complete list of submissions. If you want to link back to this post or leave a link to yours in the comment area, that’s okay too!

Some prompts to spark your thinking

  • What do effective P-12 technology leaders do? What actions and behaviors can you point to that make them effective leaders in the area of technology?
  • Do administrators have to be technology-savvy themselves in order to be effective technology leaders in their organizations?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that administrators can take to move their school organizations forward?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that can be taken to move administrators themselves forward? Given the unrelenting pressures that they face and their ever-increasing time demands, what are some things that administrators can do to become more knowledgeable and skilled in the area of technology leadership?
  • Perhaps using the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A) as a starting point, what are the absolutely critical skills or abilities that administrators need to be effective technology leaders?
  • What strengths and deficiencies are present in the NETS-A?
  • What is a technology tool that would be extremely useful for a busy administrator (i.e., one he or she probably isn’t using now)?
  • What should busy administrators be reading (or watching) that would help them be better technology leaders? What are some other resources that would help them be better technology leaders?
  • How can administrators best structure necessary conversations with internal or external stakeholders regarding technology?
  • How should administrators balance enablement with safety, risk with reward, fear with empowerment?
  • When it comes to P-12 technology leadership, where do we need new knowledge, understanding, training, or research?
  • What are (or might be) some successful models of technology leadership training for school administrators?
  • How might preservice preparation programs for administrators better incorporate elements of technology leadership?
  • When you think of (in)effective P-12 technology leadership, what comes to mind?

Here are the 353 ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT posts from the past five years (353!)

A badge for your blog or web site

I hope you will join us for this important day because, I promise you, if the leaders don’t get it, it’s not going to happen.

Checklist

Calling all bloggers! – Leadership Day 2011

Since the past four have been so successful [last year we had 114 posts!], I am putting out a call for people to participate in Leadership Day 2011. To paraphrase what I said four years ago:

Many of our school leaders (principals, superintendents, central office administrators) need help when it comes to digital technologies. A lot of help, to be honest. As I’ve noted again and again on this blog, most school administrators don’t know

  • what it means to prepare students for the digital, global world in which we now live;
  • how to recognize, evaluate, and facilitate effective technology usage by students and teachers;
  • what appropriate technology support structures (e.g., budget, staffing, infrastructure, training) look like or how to implement them;
  • how to utilize modern technologies to facilitate communication with internal and external stakeholders;
  • the ways in which learning technologies can improve student learning outcomes;
  • how to utilize technology systems to make their organizations more efficient and effective;
  • and so on…

Administrators’ lack of knowledge is not entirely their fault. Many of them didn’t grow up with computers. Other than basic management or data analysis technologies, many are not using digital tools or online systems on a regular basis. Few have received training from their employers or their university preparation programs on how to use, think about, or be a leader regarding digital technologies.

So let’s help them out.

How to participate

  1. On Friday, August 5, 2011, blog about whatever you like related to effective school technology leadership: successes, challenges, reflections, needs, wants, resources, ideas, etc. Write a letter to the administrators in your area. Post a top ten list. Make a podcast or a video. Highlight a local success or challenge. Recommend some readings. Do an interview of a successful technology leader. Respond to some of the questions below or make up your own. If you participated in years past, post a follow-up reflection. Whatever strikes you.
  2. The official hashtag is #leadershipday11
  3. TO ENSURE THAT I FIND YOUR POST, please add your info to the online spreadsheet AFTER you post. This will allow me to mention and directly link to your post when I do my summary post(s) a few days later. Everyone also will be able to see the complete list of submissions. If you want to link back to this post or leave a link to yours in the comment area, that’s okay too!

Some prompts to spark your thinking

  • What do effective K-12 technology leaders do? What actions and behaviors can you point to that make them effective leaders in the area of technology?
  • Do administrators have to be technology-savvy themselves in order to be effective technology leaders in their organizations?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that administrators can take to move their school organizations forward?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that can be taken to move administrators themselves forward? Given the unrelenting pressures that they face and their ever-increasing time demands, what are some things that administrators can do to become more knowledgeable and skilled in the area of technology leadership?
  • Perhaps using the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A) as a starting point, what are the absolutely critical skills or abilities that administrators need to be effective technology leaders?
  • What strengths and deficiencies are present in the NETS-A?
  • What is a technology tool that would be extremely useful for a busy administrator (i.e., one he or she probably isn’t using now)?
  • What should busy administrators be reading (or watching) that would help them be better technology leaders? What are some other resources that would help them be better technology leaders?
  • How can administrators best structure necessary conversations with internal or external stakeholders regarding technology?
  • How should administrators balance enablement with safety, risk with reward, fear with empowerment?
  • When it comes to K-12 technology leadership, where do we need new knowledge, understanding, training, or research?
  • What are (or might be) some successful models of technology leadership training for school administrators?
  • How might preservice preparation programs for administrators better incorporate elements of technology leadership?
  • When you think of (in)effective K-12 technology leadership, what comes to mind?

Here are the ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT posts from the past four years

A badge for your blog or web site

LeadershipDay2011 

I hope you will join us for this important day because, I promise you, if the leaders don’t get it, it isn’t going to happen.

Checklist

Leadership Day 2010 – Some highlights

On Monday I published the final list of Leadership Day 2010 posts. Today I’m going to highlight a few that, for one reason or another, particularly resonated with me. This is by no means a ‘best of’ list but rather an attempt to capture a few things that struck me as I read through each post. With one exception, the highlights below are in the same order as the list from Monday.

Again, a big thank you to everyone who participated this year. Happy reading!

Leadershipday2010My favorite Leadership Day post this year

Rob Jacobs (@eduinnovation). What Do You Think You “Hired” Your Technology To Do?

You want to give your student access to the web to look up information and learn information literacy skills. That seems implicit to you. However, your students want to use the web to share information. You wanted them to consume, they wanted to produce and share. You have “hired” the web to do a different job than the students have “hired” it do. You “hired” Google Docs so students could work in small groups in the classroom on projects. Your students “hired” Google Docs so they could collaborate with people, including content experts and other students, across the globe. You “hired” technology to aide student collaboration is groups of 2-3. The students “hired” technology to aide collaboration in groups of 200-300. . . . Are you ready for that? Can you deal with that?

Leadership & Vision

Carolyn Foote (@technolibrary). Stepping out of the bubble.

How do we step outside of what we know so we can experience it in a new way? And how can we get new ideas when we are so immersed in day to day management of our own districts?

Fred Koch (@fkoch). Leadership Day 2010.

I have come to believe that “it” is so big, so complex, so multidimensional that “it” is nearly impossible to define. Basically what I am saying is that “it” simply means different things to different people. There are leaders who truly believe they understand “it.” The problem comes when we try to define and articulate “it.”

Jon Becker (@jonbecker). Who are the thought leaders in educational leadership?

If professors of educational leadership truly want to be the thought leaders and to be a part of any sort of school change process, they need to . . . stop publishing their high-quality, thoughtful work in journals that nobody who does the work of school leadership reads. One of Jon’s best posts ever.

Kristen Swanson (@kristenswanson). Leadership Day 2010.

Kristen’s emphasis on leaders making just ‘1 upgrade this year’ is a great strategy. The first step is always the hardest. After that you have momentum…

Pam Moran (@pammoran). Staying Relevant as Leader and Learner.

I’m convinced that we administrative leaders have an obligation to initiate new learning, become skillful in the use of new tools that accelerate and advance our learning work, and share with others what we are learning. . . . Becoming an educator with the contemporary knowledge and skills to influence and teach others is as essential an expectation of administrative leaders as it is for teachers. Our kids don’t wait around on someone to tell them to learn a new technology and neither should we.

Queenie Lindsey (@tandemteaching). An Open Letter To Administrators| Leadership Day 2010.

A superb Top 10 list of things teachers need from administrators if they are to better incorporate digital technologies into their instruction.

Scott McLeod (@mcleod). “No thanks. I choose to do nothing.”

Can I exercise blogger’s privilege and say that I liked my own post (and the discussion that ensued there)?

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach (@snbeach). Leadership Day: A Day Late.

Riffing off Clay Shirky’s new book, Cognitive Surplus, Sheryl asks: What if we, as educational leaders, took the time we all spend watching our favorite shows on TV and used it for design thinking: inspiration, ideation, and implementation?

Tim Gwynn (@tgwynn). How About Some Walk To Go With That Talk?

Use technology to enhance your life as well as the lives of your teachers, staff, and students. Please keep talking about it, because that dialogue is important. However, show us that you know technology is a crucial part of education. It’s time to walk the walk. Let’s see action.

Tim Stahmer (@timstahmer). What Do You Do All Day?

Apple employs many creative and talented people and [Steve Jobs'] primary role is to clear the obstacles, foster collaboration, and allow them to use their talents to the greatest degree possible. I would hope our leaders, both inside and outside of the education structure, would view their role exactly the same way when it comes to improving student learning. Unfortunately, these days things seem to be heading in the opposite direction. To more standardized classrooms, rigid, narrow curriculums, and prescriptive teaching designed to meet the growing demand for more standardized testing. So, I wonder how things might change if Steve Jobs was leading American education. Instead of Bill Gates.

Lists

Natalie Wojinski (@mswojo). Leadership Day 2010: Dear Administrators.

I love it when Natalie says: Please get over your fear of NETWORKING.

Planning & Implementation

Justin Bathon (@edjurist). Rubber … Meet Road: Leadership Day 2010.

Justin shares a fantastic reflection on lessons learned (and continuing challenges) for a statewide education innovation initiative. There are lots of good things happening in Kentucky. I’m heading down in early September to check it out (and help out a little).

Safety & Security

Kevin Hodgson (@dogtrax). Leadership Day 2010: A Webcomic Message.

1. The comic strip format is super fun! 2. Kevin’s principal says, “Take chances. I’ll be in your corner, don’t you worry.” We need more principals and superintendents saying this!

Standards

Doug Johnson (@blueskunkblog). CODE 77Rubrics for Administrators.

Undaunted by the enormous challenge, Doug creates his own technology leadership rubrics for administrators.

Teaching & Learning

Becky Fisher (@beckyfisher73). Educational Leaders Must Be Self-directed Learners.

Here’s a worn out school scenario: a student brings a device to school and starts pulling it out during “full frontal teaching” episodes or worksheeting activities. The teacher is disturbed by the fact the student is “not paying attention in class,” collects the device and sends the kid to the office. The principal fusses at the kid for “not paying attention in class” and informs the kid that the parent has to come to school to pick the device up. The parent comes in the next day to pick the device up and the principal talks about how important it is for parents to support the school in these discipline matters. Where in this scenario does anyone other than the student think about the quality of the classroom experience the student was opting out of? Where in this scenario does anyone other than the student realize the potential power of this “device?”

Brian Ford (@bf_teach4chnge). Marx and School 2.0: My Leadership Day 2010 Post….In Time for Happy Hour (somewhere)…

Brian channels Karl Marx: What the workers can do (their productivity) is limited by the owners’ control of the tools. It’s one of the many ironies and paradoxes of capitalism – that there are many situations in which relinquishing control would actually yield owners a greater surplus of goods/services, but the last thing owners give up (besides profits) is control. . . . [When it comes to educational technology,] liberate the means of production!

Carl Anderson (@anderscj). An Invitation Letter to Parents.

Carl proposes that every technology-savvy teacher send a letter home to parents. An awesome idea.

Josie Holford (@JosieHolford). More Educator Luddites Please.

We need to . . . establish a whole new ethos of luddism in our schools. The educator luddites I have in mind are people who have always understood school to be more than  test prep and who see themselves as far more than the agents of a standardized testing industry. I see them leading the way to create inquiry driven schools where students and teachers are not too busy to think. Schools where the technology serves the learning rather than drives the teaching and where the demand for original work is a collaborate effort to solve compelling problems to which no one present knows the answer. In such a school, the curriculum is not driven by the textbook, the flow of information is not unidirectional, learning is networked and students and teachers work together across the boundaries of age and experience as active seekers, users and creators of knowledge. In this rosy picture, individual schools form a kind of globally aware and networked cottage industry of creative learning.

Paul Bogush (@paulbogush). Acoustic Teaching.

Before you decide to push technology into the curriculum, I would just ask that you pause and find out if you will be amplifying mistakes? or allowing some teachers to do more? The best guitar teachers want their students to start off unplugged. Drum teachers start off their students with a simple drum pad. . . . Forcing technology into poor lessons won’t make them sound any better, it will just allow their impact to be heard farther into the future.

Rich Haglund. The 1908 ISTE NETS, or, how chalkboards revolutionized teaching.

Rich discovers the 1908 version of the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T).

Ryan Bretag (@ryanbretag). Walk in the Shoes of Your Students.

Ryan says: I issue this challenge to school leaders: walk in the shoes of your students for a day. Seriously. Open your calendar now and secure a day during the year where your administrative team can experience first-hand what it is like to be a learner in the school community and what teaching and learning really looks like from the eyes of your students: classroom experience, halls, lockers, homework, extracurricular, polices, teaching, learning, engagement, school goals, school vision, etc. I so love this idea and know that it’s done in some places. I’d add that the experience should go from door-to-door, to include the ‘powering down’ and ‘powering back up again’ that many students do before and after school.

Sean Nash (@nashworld). Principals as Teachers and Principals as Teachers Part II – Early Feedback.

Sean’s two-part series on principals serving as part-time teachers in online courses. Also, I wish more school districts understood Sean’s statement that “As a district we can sit the bench and ultimately swallow the future options that arise from the state level or worse . . . or we can get really smart and make our own breaks on the local level.

Steve Moore (@stevejmoore). What Are You Building? 

Essentially, every piece of great technology is about relationships between people and ideas. . . . I urge you . . . to start a conversation about what you’re learning and with whom you’re connected to. Only from that seeking out of new knowledge – through whatever barrier reducing “technology” is available to you – will there be true benefit.

Tools & Technologies

Jacob Williamson. Good Intentions.

Jacob takes exception to Edline’s claims that it ‘provides the world’s leading technology solutions that help schools improve student performance by harnessing the power of parental involvement, supporting teachers, and engaging the learning community,’ noting that it’s actually 0 for 4 in its claims. An excellent reminder that we should examine vendors’ claims critically and be clear about what ‘effective technology use’ really means.

 

Leadership Day 2010 – The final list!

Well, after sorting through all of the Leadership Day 2010 posts, tracking down incorrect URLs, deleting a few nonexistent items, and reviewing some attempts to recycle old posts, I believe that I have the definitive list of 114 total posts. You can see the updated Google spreadsheet or read through the roughly categorized list of posts below (Twitter IDs are in parentheses where available).

UPDATE: See also Leadership Day 2010 – Some highlights

A big, big thanks to everyone who participated this year. There’s LOTS of good stuff here, as usual. Happy reading!

Leadershipday2010Leadership & Vision

  • Blake Skidmore (@blakeskid). Pick Up the Mouse Your E-Mail is Ringing. I will be gliding through building technology at schools, and how to take some concrete steps for “old dogs learning new tricks”.
  • Carolyn Foote (@technolibrary). Stepping out of the bubble. How can we step out of our own bubble and dream?
  • Chris Atkinson (@ChrisLAtkinson). What Kind Of School Will You Lead This Year? Use Doug Reeves’ Leadership Matrix to assess where you are as a school and where you need to be.
  • Chris Lehmann (@chrislehmann). Leadership Day 2010: Be The Best Version of Yourself. Being a good leader means first being a good person.
  • Dale Holt (@Daleholt). Be the shaker. The snowglobe is best when shaken. We we lead we need to not be afraid to shake things up.
  • Damian Bariexca (@damian613). Leadership Day 2010: From the Ground Up. Not all administrators are leaders; not all leaders are administrators.
  • Darren Draper (@ddraper). On Administrators’ Choice to Do Nothing. My take on why change is so hard to come by in leadership behavior.
  • David Bill (@dcinc66). Requirements for change. What is needed to institute change in a school? In my mind, they include the following – vision, understanding and persistence.
  • David Fleming (@mrdfleming). Reflections on Leadership. What I expect from administration regarding technology use in school.
  • Diane Lauer (@MrsLauer). Stepping Up and Staying Relevant. Three years ago I sat in the audience listening to a speaker chide a group of school administrators with the prompt, “How many of you are on Facebook?” My hand rested in my lap, my eyes surfed the room. There were very few hands raised. The gauntlet was thrown. “Are you willing to become dangerously irrelevant?”
  • Ed Allen (@horizons93). Leadership Day 2010 – The Time Is Now. Let’s adopt an admin and give them a supportive push!
  • Fred Koch (@fkoch). Leadership Day 2010. Too many school leaders are wearing racehorse blinders – so they don’t know what they don’t see…
  • Heather Hersey (@hhersey03). Tech Leaders, Don Ginty and Rob Mancabelli. A profile of two technology leaders and how they approached a school’s tablet program and 1:1 pilot.
  • Jaime Dial (@DrDial). Never be afraid to lead. Be careful when making generalizations about leaders; you don’t have to be an administrator to lead.
  • Jeff B (@jbtheater11). Leadership Day 2010 – A letter. A simple (but kind of frustrated) letter to any administrator with a few suggestions and book recommendations.
  • Jeffrey L. Hunt (@jeff_hunt). We Need Educational Leaders Who Can Move Us to the Next Level — Forward is Not Far Enough. It’s time for leaders to take schools to the next levels, embrace digital technologies and focus on learning.
  • Joanne Robert. Take Risks, Trust Your Staff & Inspire. A letter to administrators from teachers “tired of waiting” giving advice for a low-tech, baby step, non-threatening approach to high-techness; it really sounds like begging but then I’m frustrated with the slowness of it all. :-)
  • Joe Bires (@joebires). Learn by Doing. Schools should practice what they preach; learn by doing.
  • Jon Becker (@jonbecker). Who are the thought leaders in educational leadership? Where I throw ed. leadership professors and school leaders under the bus, only not really.
  • Jonathan Ferrell and Britt Pumphrey (@jonathanferrell, @brpumphrey). Moving Forward. Two young teacher’s perspective on what it means for a leader to be moving forward in the realm of technology and education.
  • Jonathan Martin (@JonathanEMartin). Learner-in-Chief: Leading in 21st century education. Today more than ever, leadership is about learning, and those of us who aim to lead learning must be ourselves Chief Learners in order to be Chiefs of Learning.
  • Kevin Creutz (@kevcreutz). An Administrator’s Responsibility. Administrator’s must be lifelong learners
  • Kristen Swanson (@kristenswanson). Leadership Day 2010. Upgrade and supercharge your leadership with these ideas!
  • Kristin Hokanson (@khokanson). Keystones the Cornerstones of Leadership. Lead, Connect, Innovate, and Explore, Turn up the HEAT and recognize that anyone can be a leader
  • Linda Clinton (@Linda704). I’m Not In It to Win It I’m In It for You. A post inspired by a line from a pop song.
  • Lisa Winebrenner (@EdTech4Me). Leadership Day 2010 Call to all bloggers. Reflection of last year’s post to this year and links on how far Google Apss Education Edition has come in 4 years.
  • Megan Howard (@mmhoward). Leadership: Adapt, Innovate, and Inspire. Musings about verbs: adapt, innovate, inspire — and why walking slowly through the halls is a sign of good leadership.
  • Michelle Baldwin (@michellek107). Leadership Is… In thinking about leadership, I wanted to be less preachy than I usually am, and instead concentrated on qualities of good leaders.
  • Mike Meechin (@innovateed). Tough Conversations – Have Them! Calling all education reformers! I encourage you to find those in charge and have them sit for the tough conversations. The movement begins here, with us, and these conversations.
  • Nathan Barber. Administrators as Technology Leaders: Is Being Tech-Savvy Enough? Administrators must understand not only the limits of their own tech knowledge but also when to empower tech experts to carry out the technology vision for the school.
  • Pam Moran (@pammoran). Staying Relevant as Leader and Learner. I fear being dangerously irrelevant so I work hard to stay relevant as leader and learner- with a little help from friends, both F2F and virtual.
  • Patrick Larkin (@bhsprincipal). Leadership Day 2010 – Two of My Goals For This Year. Resource sharing rather than resource hoarding.
  • Pernille Ripp (@4thgrdteach). Do You Dare to Look in the Mirror? Reflection on whether you are a multiplier or a divisor.
  • Queenie Lindsey (@tandemteaching). An Open Letter To Administrators| Leadership Day 2010. Dear Administrators: 3 teachers reveal exactly what they need from you to implement technology in the classroom.
  • Renee Moore (@TeachMoore). Dear Angela. A heartfelt letter to one my former students, now an elementary principal, encouraging (not shaming) her to explore what technology integration can do for their school, especially for our high-poverty, digitally disadvantaged students.
  • Rodd Lucier (@thecleversheep). The Three ‘R’s of Educational Leadership. Educational leaders need to take Risks, to conduce Research, and to build Relationships.
  • Roger Crider (@rcrider69). Its not that difficult. Why doesn’t administration understand that with a little vision and commitment things would improve greatly.
  • Roger Pryor (@pryorcommitment). Paintings in an exhibition: change metaphors and a couple of views on leadership. Sometimes we may feel the urge to charge into a battle for new ways of doing things, trumpets sounding and hooves thundering. There is a quite satisfaction to be had, however, from ‘leading from behind’ and seeing some of the more clever cows lead the herd to new grazing.
  • Scott McLeod (@mcleod). “No thanks. I choose to do nothing.” Are school administrators guilty of ‘willful blindness’ when it comes to the societal transformations that surround them?
  • Selena Ward (@thetechtiger). I Have Some Hope. This is my yearly letter to my principal.
  • Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach (@snbeach). Leadership Day: A Day Late. Leaders “kill their TV” to make time for Design Thinking: Inspiration, Ideation, and Implementation to reculture and shift their school/district.
  • Sylvia Martinez (@smartinez). What leadership looks like. “What works” is variable to an almost maddening degree.
  • Tim Gwynn (@tgwynn). How About Some Walk To Go With That Talk? When it comes to technology in schools, leaders are talking about it all around us, but the talk doesn’t mean much until they step up and start using the technology as well.
  • Tim Stahmer (@timstahmer). What Do You Do All Day? Does the leadership in your school have an “insanely great” approach to their role like Steve Jobs?
  • Todd Williamson (@twilliamson15). Consistency, Vision, and Bravery. Three necessary values for any educational leader, in any century, with or without technology.
  • Tony Baldasaro (@baldy7). Reflections on 2st Century Leadership. Reflected upon the 21st century leaders and offered three traits of high quality leaders, one of which a former boss of mine did not have.
  • Tony Keefer (@Tonykeefer). Big Thinking: Leadership Day 2010. One teacher’s ideas that may help administrators think big about embracing tech.

Lists

Online Learning

Planning & Implementation

  • Becky Searls (@beckyjoy). Leadership Day 2010. How one district provided laptops for teachers…with a catch!
  • Justin Bathon (@edjurist). Rubber … Meet Road: Leadership Day 2010. Lessons and challenges from leading a real statewide education reform effort in Kentucky.
  • Maryna Badenhorst (@marynabadenhors). Visionary Leadership and e-learning. The roles and responsibilities of schools in the integration of e-learning:  Where will we hide in this e-learning storm that is brewing on the horizon?
  • Taber Akin. Leadership Day. A small list of technology successes in ISD 191.

Professional Development

  • Cheryl Oakes (@cheryloakes50). Leadership Day 2010 call to action be part of this! A group of administrators and technology coordinators went into action, collaborated and designed a summer professional workshop for any administrator involved in evaluating staff, in Maine, presented by local teachers who are already demonstrating the NETS-S standards in their classrooms.
  • Jon Orech (@jorech). More Than Just a Spark. The start of a new school year brings optimism and new ideas; how do we sustain them long term?
  • Kyle Pace (@kylepace). PDopia: Planning The Perfect PD. Want to evoke real change and move forward with educational technology? It all starts with providing quality PD to your staff.
  • Mau Buchler (@maubuchler). Only After You’ve Done Your Homeplay! A more effective way of doing PDs for teachers who want to start using technology.
  • Paula Naugle (@plnaugle). Leadership Day 2010 – My Take. I suggest 10 ways leadership can “walk the talk” about integrating technology when doing staff development.

Safety & Security

  • Kevin Hodgson (@dogtrax). Leadership Day 2010: A Webcomic Message. I went the route of creating a webcomic to add a touch of humor to the message that teachers need the support of administrators (and sometimes, administrators need a little help from their teachers)
  • Mark Barnes (@markbarnes19). Mr. Education Administrator: tear down that wall. Ronald Reagan may have said it first, but it’s worth restating: Mr. administrator, tear down that wall — the firewall that is.

Standards

  • Beth Still (@bethstill). ISTE NETS for Administrators: How Do You Measure Up? This post goes through the five NETS for Administrators and provides some insight from the perspective of a teacher as well as provides a jumping in points to help administrators become tech-savvy.
  • Doug Johnson (@blueskunkblog). CODE 77Rubrics for Administrators. 10 Rubrics to help the brave administrator judge his/her competence with technology use in schools.

Teaching & Learning

  • Alynn Coppock (@ACoppock1). Driving Toward a New School Year. After reading Drive by Daniel Pink, I was inspired to blog about this thought-provoking read and how it relates to leadership and the 1:1 environment.
  • Amanda Dykes (@amandacdykes). Time To Step Up. I am not a leader, far from it, but I have a big mouth and not afraid to use it!
  • Barbara McCormick (bmccormick65). Leadership Day 2010. Going Global with 1:1 inspires a community.
  • Becky Fisher (@beckyfisher73). Educational Leaders Must Be Self-directed Learners. “Nobody told me I had to…” is not an excuse for a leader.
  • Brad Flickinger (@bradflickinger). Exploit Their Passions. A How-To Guide to Exploiting Your Teacher’s Tech Passions.
  • Brian Ford (@bf_teach4chnge). Marx and School 2.0: My Leadership Day 2010 Post….In Time for Happy Hour (somewhere)… Using Marx’s idea of liberating the means of production as an analogy for school and tech leadership.
  • Bridgette Wagoner (@B_Wagoner). Pragmatism is Not the Answer, Part II: Tech Integration. We are so concerned with fast, practical results that we’ve forgotten that real, substantive, lasting change happens as a result of changing the underlying belief systems of individuals.
  • Carl Anderson (@anderscj). An Invitation Letter to Parents. In this post I show how online Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) can be leveraged to effect change in your school and increase parent involvement in support of student, teacher, administrator, and systemic learning.
  • Catherine Victoria Parsons (@vgloucester). Make Learning a Quest. Learning should be more like questing in an MMORPG – embrace the process and not the target.
  • Cathy Stutzman (@Stutz01). Collaboration and Lemon Pancakes. What would school be like if every teacher could engage in meaningful conversations with school administrators about curriculum and educational pedagogy and if every student could learn alongside teachers and administrators?
  • Chris Lindholm (@clindhol). Projected slides is not tech integration. Stand and deliver teaching with tech is still bad teaching…
  • dan greenberg (texasbuckeye). Leadership day 2010. How can we get administrators to make honest assessments about technology they, themselves, might not fully grasp?
  • David Edwards (@davencvps67). Are We Helping the Trophy Kids Learn and Grow? Are we meeting the expectations of the “trophy kids” (the net generation) with the learning environments we build?
  • Dominic Giegerich (@Giegerich). Aretha said it best – “R E S P E C T” Sit teachers down like 3rd graders in PD or treat them like adult learners and give them the respect they deserve?
  • Edna Sackson (@whatedsaid). Learning Principles. Know what you believe about learning, before you think about implementing change!
  • Eye On Education (@eyeoneducation). What role does technology play in differentiated instruction? Some administrators feel that if classroom teachers use technology in their classrooms that their classrooms will “automatically” differentiate. What role does technology play in the differentiated classroom?
  • Jonathan Cassie. Technology and Education 1.0. The Greeks got it right; our use of technology has to catch up with what they taught us 3000 years ago.
  • Josie Holford (@JosieHolford). More Educator Luddites Please. A call to reclaim Luddism and to build a class of educator Luddites who can learn and lead against the grain of narrowing definitions, factory school and standardization and toward what it means to be an educated citizen in a networked world.
  • Michael Shepherd (@smichael920). Curriculum Design. What does our pedagogy look like? What would you like learning to be like?
    At a recent staff meeting we asked these questions of staff and the result was more questions!   But questions that have helped us move the curriculum forward.”
  • Paul Bogush (@paulbogush). Acoustic Teaching. It’s the songs we write and sing as teachers that make a difference, not the instruments we play them.
  • Rich Haglund. The 1908 ISTE NETS, or, how chalkboards revolutionized teaching. The ISTE NETS-T could have been written 100 years ago, and teachers who haven’t mastered their subject don’t have room in their brains to contemplate using (or letting students use) new tools to teacher (or for students to learn) the material.
  • Rob Jacobs (@eduinnovation). What Do You Think You “Hired” Your Technology To Do? When leaders put education technology into the hands of students they discover that new tools, in new hands, creates new and often unanticipated results.
  • Robert Dillon (@ideaguy42). Hitting the Target, Missing the Point. Winning the testing war is great, but truly preparing children for the future is morally responsible.
  • Ryan Bretag (@ryanbretag). Walk in the Shoes of Your Students. On this Leadership Day 2010, I issue this challenge to school leaders: walk in the shoes of your students for a day.
  • Sean Nash (@nashworld). Principals as Teachers. An invitation to bring principals directly back into the fold of teaching through the use of modern digital tools.
  • Sean Nash (@nashworld). Principals as Teachers Part II – Early Feedback. Part two of an getting an idea “on paper” about employing principals to become intimately empowered in a digital teaching landscape.
  • Stephen Lazar (@SLazarOtC). Technology is a Tool. Administrators need to remember that technology is a means, not an end in itself.
  • Steve Moore (@stevejmoore). What Are You Building? Whether we use TNT or a telegraph, we need to learn how to use technology to break down the barriers of learning and relationships.

Tools & Technologies

  • Cheryl Robson. Beyond Techno-Bling: When Boring is Good. Let’s get past the bells and whistles and really put the technology to work for us.
  • David B. Cohen (@CohenD). Tech It From The Top! If you’ve lived this long, and you believe in lifelong learning as one of your professional principles, then it’s time to do more than use email and Facebook:  isn’t it about time to retire the “aw, shucks, I can’t use any of that new-fangled technology stuff the kids use”  excuse?
  • Frank Buck (@drfrankbuck). Leadership Day 2010: Why Blog? For the principal who wants an easy way to communicate with faculty and staff that is fun for both reader and writer, a blog is the way to go.
  • George Couros (@gcouros). #LeadershipDay2010 – The Tools I Use. I am smarter because I found a bunch of smart people.
  • Ian McCoog (@imccoog). plain and simple, the blog. It’s nothing fancy but blogging is one effective and not “too high tech” means of communication.
  • Jacob Williamson. Good Intentions. Why good intentions aren’t enough.
  • Joquetta Johnson (@accordin2jo). What Tools Are You Carrying In Your Digital Briefcase. Briefcase, backpack, or brown paper bag… It’s not about the container, but its contents.
  • Karen Weil (@KarenTBTEN). In the Clouds: Cloud Technologies… and Start Pages. Can a well designed ‘start page’ link elementary students with engaging (and safe) technologies?
  • Larry Fliegelman (@fliegs). Leadership Day 2010. How to keep with it all as a busy principal: RSS helps us “know it all.”
  • Lyn Hilt (@l_hilt). Leadership Day 2010. Reflecting upon the things I’ve done as an administrator to help my teachers “rethink” their practices.
  • Monte Tatom (@drmmtatom). #LeadershipDay10. The value of staying current with 21st Century Leadership Skills.
  • Pattie Thomas (@pthomas1). This Blog Belongs to YOU! Parents and the community deserve to know what happens behind the doors of the school house. A blog does just that!.
  • Susan Carpenter (@SusanF95). Have Terabyte…Will Travel. This is the most amazingly convenient way to have access to everything you need, all of the time, from anywhere!

Check out the hashtag!

Posts from past years

Leadershipday2010posts

“No thanks. I choose to do nothing.”

Leadershipday2010

Here are some things I will probably never understand:

  • Interpretive dance.
  • Xenophobia.
  • Why rhythmic gymnastics, curling, and men’s field hockey are Olympic sports but baseball is not.
  • The continuing appeal of I Can Has Cheezburger.
  • This.
  • School administrators who continue to merely tweak the status quo and somehow think that they and their school organizations are doing just fine.

It’s not like by now principals and superintendents don’t know that the world has changed. There can’t be more than a handful of school leaders that somehow have missed every single conference where a featured speaker was a Will Richardson / David Warlick / Alan November / Ian Jukes type, right? Even those non-technology, mainstream leadership conferences like AASA, NASSP, NAESP, and ASCD are beginning to invite us techie folks to speak.

SeenoevilOkay, so maybe we’re not persuasive enough. That’s fine. But it’s one thing to ignore the presenter on the stage. It’s another to ignore the evidence before their own eyes. All administrators have to do is LOOK AROUND and they can see the changes in their students. In society at large. In the many institutions that are dying in the face of these transformative technologies.

There’s a concept in the law known as willful blindness. The idea is that one deliberately takes steps to avoid seeing what’s right in one’s face. To how many of our school principals and superintendents does this concept apply? What can we do to help (make) them SEE?

“Hi. I know the world has changed. There is compelling evidence staring me in the face as an administrator that business as usual just isn’t going to suffice in this new digital, global society. Not if we are to prepare students for the next half century rather than the last. But you know what? No thanks. I choose to do nothing.

Nope. I’ll probably never understand that one…

Image credit: see no evil

Calling all bloggers! – Leadership Day 2010

Since the past three have been so successful,* I am putting out a call for people to participate in Leadership Day 2010. As I said three years ago:

Many of our school leaders (principals, superintendents, central office administrators) need help when it comes to digital technologies. A lot of help, to be honest. As I’ve noted again and again on this blog, most school administrators don’t know

  • what it means to prepare students for the 21st century;
  • how to recognize, evaluate, and facilitate effective technology usage by students and teachers;
  • what appropriate technology support structures (budget, staffing, infrastructure) look like or how to implement them;
  • how to utilize modern technologies to facilitate communication with internal and external stakeholders;
  • the ways in which learning technologies can improve student learning outcomes;
  • how to utilize technology systems to make their organizations more efficient and effective;
  • and so on…

Administrators’ lack of knowledge is not entirely their fault. Most of them didn’t grow up with these technologies. Many are not using digital tools on a regular basis. Few have received training from their employers or their university preparation programs on how to use, think about, or be a leader regarding digital technologies.

So… let’s help them out.

How to participate

  1. On Friday, July 30, 2010, blog about whatever you like related to effective school technology leadership: successes, challenges, reflections, needs, wants, etc. Write a letter to the administrators in your area. Post a top ten list. Make a podcast or a video. Highlight a local success or challenge. Recommend some readings. Do an interview of a successful technology leader. Respond to some of the questions below or make up your own. If you participated in years past, post a follow-up reflection. Whatever strikes you.
  2. The official hashtag is  #leadershipday10
  3. TO ENSURE THAT I FIND YOUR POST, please complete the short online participation form AFTER you post on Friday. This will allow me to mention and directly link to your post when I do my summary post a few days later. Everyone also will be able to see the complete list of submissions. If you want to link back to this post or leave a link to yours in the comment area, that’s okay too!

Some prompts to spark your thinking

  • What do effective K-12 technology leaders do? What actions and behaviors can you point to that make them effective leaders in the area of technology?
  • Do administrators have to be technology-savvy themselves in order to be effective technology leaders in their organizations?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that administrators can take to move their school organizations forward?
  • What are some tangible, concrete, realistic steps that can be taken to move administrators themselves forward? Given the unrelenting pressures that they face and their ever-increasing time demands, what are some things that administrators can do to become more knowledgeable and skilled in the area of technology leadership?
  • Perhaps using the new National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators (NETS-A) as a starting point, what are the absolutely critical skills or abilities that administrators need to be effective technology leaders?
  • What strengths and deficiencies are present in the new NETS-A?
  • What is a technology tool that would be extremely useful for a busy administrator (i.e., one he or she probably isn’t using now)?
  • What should busy administrators be reading (or watching)?
  • How can administrators best structure necessary conversations with internal or external stakeholders?
  • How should administrators balance enablement with safety, risk with reward, fear with empowerment?

Here are the ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT posts from the past three years

A badge for your blog or web site

Leadershipday2010 

I hope you will join us for this important day because, I promise you, if the leaders don’t get it, it isn’t going to happen.

Checklist

* Footnote 

Last year I intended to individually summarize and link to everyone’s posts (like I had in years past), but I was wholly unprepared for the sheer volume of participation in Leadership Day 2009 (see graph below). I apologize to everyone for not doing what I had done in previous years. I am extremely grateful to Karen McMillan and Dennis Richards, who together did the bulk of the aggregation of the posts that are listed in the 2009 summary spreadsheet above. That list would not exist without them. I think I’ve got a much better system now, so I hope my struggles last year won’t be a barrier to your participation in this year’s event. We’d love to have your perspective!

LeadershipDayTotals


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