Shrinking budgets! What is a superintendent to do?

Shrinking budgets! What is a superintendent to do?

Chuck McLaughlin photo

In Southern Maine, the superintendents took action! After a county meeting, the superintendents asked their curriculum coordinators and technology coordinators to get together and see where collaboration would benefit the group.

For five meetings, spread across five months, this eclectic group met, offered ideas, discussed, created an action plan and went to work and designed a professional development day in the middle of August for county administrators. (Since most of the work was done during the work year there wasn’t an additional cost associated with this planning.) The group surveyed local administrators to see what they would be interested in, from a list of our suggested ideas.

With survey results in hand, a little bit of skepticism, the group continued with the planning. We had the normal questions, would anyone give up a summer day to attend? would teachers agree to be presenters for the administrators? would we be able to offer a valuable workshop for this audience?

There was an audible gasp from the group, when a statement was made about the building leader being responsible for driving (and modeling) the change for technology integration and meaningful work by staff and students. The whole day was about driving this change and providing secure examples of rich technology lessons and what an administrator should look for during a walk through or teacher and lesson evaluation.

We talked about purpose and purposeful use of technology. There were over 60 administrators in the room participating in a technology rich day, all using their MLTI laptops. The survey results at the end of the day were full of anticipation for a new school year, excitement about taking some of the knowledge back to their buildings, and appreciation for what they learned throughout the day. A bonus, this group of administrators have their own personal learning network.All the administrators joined an Edmodo social network where they can experience the continued virtual conversation. All the web 2.0 tools the presenters shared had a dual purpose, as the tools were FREE and something that an administrator could use when they returned to school. We will be offering two follow-up dine and discuss evenings in early autumn and early spring to continue the conversations and learning. Stay tuned.

Web 2.0 Tools used during the workshop day.
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To find more examples of other leadership initiatives, see the post by Dr. Scott McLeod,
Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Iowa State University, also the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE).