5 Leadership Questions To Finish (And Start) The School Year With

7/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
In many places, the end of the school year is upon us. Students are eagerly waiting for that final bell to ring, and teachers are busy making those final preparations to finish things out. And while our thoughts may turn to summer vacation, this time of year is ripe for reflection, especially for the school-technology leader.
Recently, I spent some time talking with the administrators in my district about technology, our vision for where we want to go and how they play a key role in the development of technology practices that can have a huge impact on student learning. We asked them several questions which I think are some of the most important. These questions are adapted from the Principals Technology Leadership Assessment from CASTLE. These by no means are the only questions to consider, but by answering these you can get a feel for the direction that technology integration will take/does take in a school or district.
So as we close out the school year, think about these questions for this and the next school year:
1. To what extent do you compare and align your school technology plan with other plans such as your school improvement plan? Are there clear goals for the use or integration of technology that are integrated into your school improvement plan? Perhaps there is a component to address digital safety or cyberbullying but should their be more? What should be addressed? Is technology even addressed at all? What successes did you have this year that you want to build upon. And what challenges did you face that you need to work on for next year?
2. To what extent do you promote participation of your school’s stakeholders in the technology planning process of your school or district? Who is involved in your planning process? Is it just the technology leadership? Are teachers involved? What about students? Did you listen to the perspective of parents or the community? Planning for technology is an ongoing process that needs evaluation and reflection. And it is important to involve all stakeholders in that process.
3. To what extent did you disseminate or model best practices in learning and teaching with technology to faculty and staff? Even in my position as director, I take every opportunity I can to get out in front of teachers (and sometimes students). I am a teacher and enjoy teaching. But I also know how important it is for me to model the best use of technology. That is also a value we are instilling in our administrators as well. We started an administrator boot camp that worked with school principals to help them better understand their role in the technology leading process but to help them feel more comfortable with technology so that they can model its use with their faculty.
4. To what extent do you include the effective use of technology as a criterion for assessing the performance of faculty? This one, I believe, is the hardest to answer and hardest to assess. What does “effective use of technology” look like? Many administrators simply don’t know. So what are they doing to make sure they have a clear understanding of effective use and how is it being assessed? In North Carolina, that is a large part of our teacher evaluation system. Even if it isn’t a part of yours, can you find a way to supplement what you are doing to make sure it is part of the conversation?
5. To what extent do you participate in professional development activities meant to improve and expand your use of technology? Along with No. 4, this is another important question to ponder. I know I can do a better job of offering targeted PD specific to my administrators in my district. And I am going to do better. But what opportunities are administrators seeking outside of traditional PD? Are they engaged in Twitter or other social networks? Do they know about #cpchat? Do they read leadership blogs? Are they going to conferences or Edcamps to expand their horizons or see what conversations teachers are having?
Even in the busyness that is the end of the year, take time to reflect on these questions. Examine past successes and changes for the future.
photo credit: Stéfan via photopin cc

cross posted at blog.web20classroom.org

Steven W. Anderson is the Director of Instructional Technology for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in Winston-Salem, NC. He also regularly travels the country talking to schools and districts about the use of Social Media in the classroom. Steven has been recognized with the NOW Award and the 2009 and 2011 Edublogs, Twitterer of The Year Award. In 2012 he was named an ASCD Emerging Leader. Read more at blog.web20classroom.org.


comments powered by Disqus
Tweets
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...