Scott McLeod of bigthink: Dangerously Irrelevant has put out a challenge for the past 4 years in an effort to educate our fellow administrators in the area of digital technologies. He is calling on all educational bloggers to post a blog on August 5th, 2011 (Leadership Day 2011) – that is related to the implementation of digital technologies. He is hoping that those who are more technologically savvy will help those of us who are not as savvy.
When I read about this challenge, I thought it was a great idea. Then I started reflecting on my own tech-savvy-ness (yes, I am aware that isn’t a word). The truth is, I have not been so savvy over the past 6 years, since becoming an administrator. I think that is because I have not been in the classroom much. My teaching assignment for 5 of the last 6 years has been working as a Learning Support teacher for those students who need extra assistance learning to read, for instance. Much of my focus in this role has been working with the youngest students in our school. While I understand that there are many resources I could have been using with these children online, I feel I had a very balanced dynamic approach to working with these students without using technology.
The more I think about this, the more I realize that, as a Learning Support Teacher, I could have done more to support the classroom teachers in the area of technology – especially for those students who are having learning struggles. Perhaps I didn’t need to use the technology while students worked with me in small groups, but I could have provided teachers with strategies and/or technologies which they could have used with their students in their classrooms.
I’m not going to beat myself up about this fact. When you know better, you do better.
I have a confession to make…. I am one of *those* administrators/teachers who did not really see the importance of improving the technology in the schools. I really didn’t *get* it until I joined Twitter a month ago. My PLN has really opened my eyes with respect to technology and the benefits of using more technology with the students. It really is no longer a choice in today’s schools, working with today’s students.
I really do understand now how students in today’s classrooms are not the same as they were even 10 years ago. We need to approach them in another way – one which they understand – one that engages them. The following video was made by students and clearly demonstrates this point.
So, now what?
What is it that I can do to help move my fellow administrators along on this path?
1. Continue to
annoy my colleagues with share information I am learning regarding technology with fellow administrators: articles, RSCON3 conference information, blog posts, research, etc…
2. Share my blog about my learning with fellow administrators.
3. Perhaps, find a group of administrators who are interested in learning together and start a group on our Unified Communications System when the new school year starts. We can use this space to share and collaborate. I WILL send out an email to some administrators who may be interested today! In our district, we have “Study Groups” of administrators who meet to discuss various topics, scenerios, etc… Perhaps we could have a 21st Century Administrators Study Group where we could discuss different digital technologies and how we, as leaders, could model these for staff. We could even organize a Tech Tuesday for Administrators event once a month. Hmmmm…. I actually love this idea!
4. Continue to model what I am doing for other administrators and staff.
5. Continue to learn about technology myself (I’ve got a LOT to learn) and use it with the classes I will be teaching this year.
I believe that for teachers to make changes in the way of using more technology and becoming a 21st Century educator, we, as administrators really need to lead the way. We need to be there to provide information, support, and resources. If we are not at the forefront of this, students will lose out. If we do not demonstrate the importance of implementing technology then it will not happen on a larger scale.
Why would teachers want to take the risks in learning something new if their “leaders” aren’t willing to do the same?
Here is a list of the Leadership Day 2011 blog entries so far.
Take a look.
Make a difference.