Sunday, July 12, 2009

What do effective K-12 technology leaders do?

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?

I liked this beginning blog post on Leadership, so thanks to Judi, Judith Epcke, a District Technology Integration Specialist in Northbrook, IL.

Happy Leadership Day 2009! As I watched my twitterfeed today, I noticed the hashtag #leadershipday09. After a little investigating, I learned that Leadership Day was started by Scott McLeod in 2007. The idea behind this day is for bloggers to craft posts to assist their (or any) administrator with the idea of being a leader with regard to educational technology. As Dr. McLeod says,

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.

Scott's call to join him on Leadership Day 2009 was all I needed,plus Judi's blog post to get me started. I chose this prompt: 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?

When I reflect on conversations I have had with administrators, who I consider movers and shakers using technology to compliment their administrative skills, there is one common denominator I have observed; a willingness to try something new. I don't mean trying some new software program or web tool just to try something out. Rather, the administrator has had a chance to zero in on a problem, look for solutions and has a purpose for trying something new. Often, when I am working with individuals this process is time consuming with many days between the initial identification of a problem, a time to research and get back to the administrator with some possible solutions and then the actual trial of a solution.

If I could encourage administrators to try one thing it would be for all administrators and educators to join a Personal Learning Network. Usually, a PLN is an online network where you reach out and touch someone virtually. Pose a question or problem to your own network and have those experts give you support to try some solutions they have tried. The wisdom of your team will astonish you if you have never tried this type of problem solving. Your PLN doesn't have to be local to your school, your district or your state. Through many social networks you will find a network that meets your needs. Start first with your favorite professional organization. If that group doesn't have a social network started look to the next organization. You will be demonstrating to your staff and students a new way of problem solving, the way of our future.

Please read Scott McLeod's follow-up post for Leadership Day 2009.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

#NECC09 Bernie Dodge Place Puzzles, bring field trips to the classroom

Please also read this post by my good friend Susan Van Gelder