Leadership Day 2008

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Today, Scott McLeod launches the second annual Leadership Day as a way for teachers and educational bloggers to offer some advice to administrators — principals and superintendents and others who might be wondering where this Web 2.0 and technology fits in their school. McLead notes that many administrators don’t quite understand the scope of the digital world and that we, the teachers and others, have a responsibility to help administrators understand what is happening out here.

I have a few points of advice that I would make:

  • Break Down the Walls — All too often, the technology specialist is removed from the classroom experience. It’s true that schools need someone who can troubleshoot, but teachers need someone who can come in, work with them on technology integration into the curriculum and be a partner in engaging students. This idea of a wall between the tech and the teacher is a recurring theme in conversations with teachers that I work with.
  • Let Them Play — Give teachers time to play around with new tools. It’s not wasted time. It is during this exploration process that so many teachers not only come to understand how an application might be used, but also how it might be used in unintended ways. If you shove an application at someone without time to explore, you won’t get anywhere.
  • Ask the Students — Students have a pretty decent knowledge base about technology. They just don’t know how to use it for learning. If we can make students our partners, and let them become leaders of other students, then they not only advance forward with the curriculum but also with crucial life skills in leadership and discovery.
  • Don’t Block the World — I understand the need for filters. There is a lot of junk out there. But use some judgments. If a teacher can connect with students from around the world, then open up your filters for that kind of collaboration.

I am sure others have more ideas, but those are some thoughts off the top of my head. We depend on our administrators for leadership and that means having an open mind about possibilities that have not yet become reality.

I made this quick ToonDoo to lighten things up a bit:

And this comic I created a few weeks ago for Web 2.0 Wednesday that seems appropriate, too:

If you have advice, be sure to head over to Scott’s Blog (Dangerously Irrelevant) and post a comment, or create your own blog post on the topic.

Peace (in the schools),

  1. Kevin, I think your second point–Let Them Play–cannot be emphasized enough. Most teachers I know lack the time to ‘play’ and experiment. But if given the time to explore they will come up with great learning opportunities for their students.

  2. Thanks Claire
    I believe strongly in that point and don’t think we give it enough time and credit when it comes to adults. We assume they can just pick it up and run with it but, the reality tells us otherwise.

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