Every year, on the anniversary of his blog, Scott McLeod from Dangerously Irrelevant, encourages educators to blog about effective digital leadership. As Scott states,
These Leadership Day posts have been written by leaders around the world every day for the past 8 years. You can view the archives at the bottom of this post. I would recommend you go through and read some of the posts. I have always found these posts to be full of great ideas and very inspiring!
For me, technology integration is becoming more ubiquitous. Technolgy is integrated in everything we do and, really, it is not about the technology anymore. I didn’t always have this view, however. It has taken me time to get where I am (and I have a long way to go).
Be Patient With Yourself
It will take time for you as an educational leader as well. It is important to realize that just when you start to think you have things figured out a little, things change, new applications come alive and more ways of connecting surface. Be patient with yourself. Start small and focus on one thing at a time. Just don’t give up.
Be Patient With Others
Even if you are truly connected and involved in integrating technology into your practise already, your staff may not all be “there” with you. It will take time for them. For some, it will take longer than others. Honour them. Honour their starting place. Assist them along the way and celebrate their successes (no matter how small they may seem to you – they may be HUGE for them).
Be a Risk-Taker
Try something you have not done in the past. That could be doing something different in the staff meetings. It could be sending out your weekly memo in a different form. It could be engaging your parent community differently. There are so many things you could do that would make a big difference in your journey and the journey of your staff, students, and parent community.
Model the Way
If we are not willing to take the risk and do things differently, how can we expect this of our teachers and other staff members? Modelling is so important in building the trust necessary for all of our learners, students and adults alike, to take risks in their own learning. Model your vulnerability. Model your risk-taking and willingness to laugh at yourself and learn from your mistakes.
Connect With Others
While I highly recommend connecting with the leaders around the globe, if you are not ready for that, perhaps take time to connect with more of your local colleagues. Ask them questions. Engage with them. Find out what they are doing to integrate technology in their schools. Find out how they are encouraging this integration among their educators. Start a Voxer group and have ongoing conversations throughout the day/week/month (You can hear a podcast about Voxer here).
Let go of the thought that you have to be all to everyone and that you have to lead everyone. You do, but, you can do it with others. Get to know your staff and students and have them help. Have them become leaders as well. It is important to cultivate leadership in our staff and students. Learn to let go and allow this to happen. They will pleasantly surprise you, I bet.
Leading today is not about “going it alone”. It is about connecting and engaging with, learning from and with others. There is power in connecting. There is power in learning together. We are all learners.
You might want to check out Digital Leadership by Eric Sheninger. It is a book for educational leaders that details different journeys of educational leaders (formal or otherwise). Eric provides many examples of things you can incorporate into your practise. I read this book this summer and found it to be very insightful.
There is also a new series of Connected Leadership books published by Corwin coming out this fall. You might want to check these books out as well. They look like they will be easy to read with many practical ideas and suggestions.
What are you going to do differently this year?
How are you going to engage with digital media/technology?
How are you going to inspire your staff to take risks in their own learning?
How are you going to be inspired by others?