Monday, July 6, 2009

Leadership Day 2009

"Leadership can be thought of as a capacity to define oneself to others in a way that clarifies and expands a vision of the future." Edwin H. Friddman

If you are a school administrator what is your vision for the future? Have you articulated your vision for education in the age of technology to your staff? Are you leading the change or have you developed a 'let's wait and see where this is going' policy?

More than ever leaders need to be learners. Have you ever said to your staff, "Here's something I learned about on Twitter." Or shared something from your RSS feed? A few months ago an administrator handed me a magazine with an article in it he thought I might enjoy. That same article is available online. It can be shared out to multiple people simultaneously and then conversations can be started.

Why leaders as learners?

- Taking even 15 minutes a day to learn something new will change your world and that of your students.
- With perhaps only a handful of people in your district who do the same job, using technology can enhance the ways in which you connect and support each other. Start a blog. Use Twitter. Create a wiki of resources for admin. Start a collaborative collection of bookmarks using delicious.
- Technology is not a passing trend. It's not going away. Ever.

Resources and Starting Places

I asked my own PLN to suggest the names of people that administrators might follow on Twitter. While this is a matter of personal choice and learning style these will get you started. Look to see who they are following as well. One person suggested following @shareski's blog, in fact most of these people write blogs that are well worth reading.
@shareski (read his blog too: Ideas and Thoughts
@wfryer @chrkennedy
@chrislehmann @courosa
@datruss @dogtrax

There is a list on the Twitter4Teachers/Principals page. If you can suggest others please leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

David Truss has sites for administrators bookmarked on delicious.

A few suggestions for blogs to follow are listed on the Seycove Library wiki.

Read these summaries of other's reflections on effective school technology leadership from Scott McLeod's blog :
Dangerously Irrelevant - Leadership Day 2007
Dangerously Irrelevant - Leadership Day 2008

And for some inspiration, take a look at this Wordle created when Ann Johnston (@amjohnston) asked, "Which words would you use to emphasize an administrator's role in technology?"

"In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." Eric Hoffer

Don't say things are moving too fast. It may work out for tomorrow's students but our concern is for the students who are sitting in our classrooms today. Are they being well served? Are you leading the change?


Lisa Thumann said...

I think 15 minutes a day is a reasonable amount of time to start with and the list of resources you provided is an excellent jumping off point. Thanks for sharing!

Jan Smith said...

Leslie, as a librarian you are perfectly placed to help leaders connect to the resources/people they need to get a handle on change. You always approach things optimistically AND realistically, which makes you very effective in and beyond your role. Thanks for a great post.

MrsE said...

Thx Lisa and Jan for your lovely comments. I am in a unique position to be a mentor. There are times when I feel that my brain will burst with all the neat stuff I know about but that others are too busy to stop and hear about.

If I didn't love the library so much I would seriously consider going back into the classroom so I could have kids using blogs, edmodo, skyping and so on. While I push things as far as I can ultimately it's the classroom teachers who have the say in the tools their students use. It's like getting a big gift when I can persuade one to let me work with them and their class on a project.