5 SECRETS TO DEVELOPING A HIGH-PERFORMING TEAM IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Patrick Sanaghan & Jillian Lohndorf
6 POTENTIALLY DESTRUCTIVE MYTHS
#1: THE MYTH ABOUT TALENT
A variety of skills, experiences,and perspectives are necessary,along with high levels of trust, open communication, emotional support, and mutual accountability—all of which arevery hard to establish and maintain. One differentiator of an exceptional team is a high level of curiosity where questions(not hidden criticisms) are prized.
#2: THE MYTH ABOUT FOCUS
stellar teams allocate their time in an unexpected way. They spend two-thirds of their time on thetask at hand (gettin’ ‘er done) and a full one-third on the “process” or relational aspect of the team’s functioning
#3: THE MYTH ABOUT CONFLICT
Exceptional teams see conﬂict as a resource, not something to be avoided.
Leaders need both the skill and the courage to deal with conﬂict on their team, as well as the understanding that everyone on the team needs to be involved in its resolution.
#4: THE MYTH ABOUT OPENNESS
- the “ seduction of the leader ” syndrome frequently seen in higher education. Due to the “collegial” and polite nature of most campuses, people simply don’t feel comfortable providing honest feedback,especially if it is negative or critical.
- Many people are reluctant to be honest, because it might hurt someone’s feelings.
- People don’t want to “lose their seat at the table” and fear that they risk doing so if they are truly honest.
- People realize that the leader really isn’t open to honest feedback, even as the leader professes to want it
#5: THE MYTH ABOUT SAMENESS
One of the pervasive team dynamics that every team leader needs to be aware of is
This happens when we select people to be on our teams who have similar backgrounds to ours.
#6: THE MYTH ABOUT MOTIVATIONAL METAPHORS
One of the best ways to build a realteam is to have each team membershare their own metaphor for how theywould like the team to operate.
5 STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING A STELLAR TEAM
1. Make your team a learning team, by creating an internal article or book club.
2. Deﬁne the rules for decision making.
3. Create working agreements or“ground rules” for the functioning and support of the team.
4. Establish a mechanism for regular, anonymous evaluation of team meetings.
5. Conduct a leadership “audit.”
more on leadership in higher ed in this IMS blog:
3 steps higher ed leaders should take before investing in blockchain
- Blockchain will have the biggest value in higher education in areas where trust is essential to the value chain in institutional operations, such as evaluation of student transcripts, processing of applications and maintenance of articulation agreements, said Oral Roberts University CIO Michael Mathews, at The Blockchain in Education Conference hosted by the institution in May, reports Campus Technology.
- From an infrastructure standpoint, Mathews said institutions have to establish a secure digital identity by investing in software that allows the credential recipient and granter to have a seamless and trusted connection, allowing for students to have a diploma that is stored safely within their digital wallet. This could mean working with a third-party application developer or developing the capability in-house.
- But before fully investing in blockchain, higher education leaders must take these steps, said Mathews:
- Spend a significant amount of time researching how the technology is impacting the industry and educate staff about it;
- test the technology to see if it follows validation and security procedures; and
- collaborate with other institutions to share best tips and practices.
more on blockchain in education in this IMS blog
ISTE Releases New Standards for Education Leaders
By Team ISTE6/24/2018
ISTE received input and feedback on the Education Leaders Standards from over 1,300 educators and leaders from all 50 states and 36 countries.
The characteristics of effective leaders outlined in the ISTE Standards for Education Leaders are:
- Equity and Citizenship Advocate: Leaders use technology to increase equity, inclusion and digital citizenship practices.
- Visionary Planner: Leaders engage others in establishing a vision, strategic plan and ongoing evaluation cycle for transforming learning with technology.
- Empowering Leader: Leaders create a culture where teachers and learners are empowered to use technology in innovative ways to enrich teaching and learning.
- System Designer: Leaders build teams and systems to implement, sustain and continually improve the use of technology to support learning.
- Connected Learner: Leaders model and promote continuous professional learning for themselves and others.
The ISTE Standards are a framework for rethinking education and empowering learners. ISTE began a cycle of updating the widely used standards when it released the new ISTE Standards for Students (in 2016), followed by the ISTE Standards for Educators (in 2017), culminating with the ISTE Standards for Education Leaders this year.
“As administrators, our responsibilities cover many areas, including technology, which has become a necessary component of living and work,” said Curt Mould, director of digital media, innovation and strategy at Sun Prairie Area School District in Wisconsin. “The world our students are walking into is increasingly global and diverse – and technology is often the leverage point needed to bring global and diverse ideas together. In this regard, technology can be a game-changer in our schools. We need a new plan to help operationalize our work for the long-term benefit of our students.”
more on ISTE standards in this IMS blog
more on technology and ed leaders in this IMS blog
Edtech playground: Helping teachers choose better tools
By Nicole Krueger Leadership
A virtual reality headset can take students on an immersive journey to another world. But no matter how cool it is, if that $3,000 piece of equipment enters a classroom and doesn’t provide any real instructional value, it can quickly become a very expensive paperweight.
Most schools don’t do edtech procurement really well yet. Sometimes we buy products that end up in closets because they don’t fit the instructional needs of students, and we end up not being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
Located in the district’s central office, where hundreds of teachers and staff members stop by each week for professional development, the playground offers a creative space that encourages teachers to explore new tools that have been vetted and approved by the district’s tech department.
In the United States, K-12 schools spend more than $13 billion a year on edtech — often without any idea whether it will make a difference in learning outcomes.
More on ISTE in this IMS blog
more on digital literacy for ed leaders in this IMS blog
The Greatest Challenge Facing School Leaders in a Digital World
the Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education – CASTLE
If a school’s reputation and pride are built on decades or centuries of “this is how we’ve always done things here,” resistance from staff, parents, and alumni to significant changes may be fierce. In such institutions, heads of school may have to steer carefully between deeply ingrained habits and the need to modernize the information tools with which students and faculty work
Too often, when navigating faculty or parental resistance, school leaders and technology staff make reassurances that things will not have to change much in the classroom or that slow baby steps are OK. Unfortunately, this results in a different problem, which is that schools have now invested significant money, time, and energy into digital technologies but are using them sparingly and seeing little impact. In such schools, replicative uses of technology are quite common, but transformative uses that leverage the unique affordances of technology are quite rare.
many schools fail to proceed further because they don’t have a collective vision of what more transformative uses of technology might look like, nor do they have a shared understanding of and commitment to what it will take to get to such a place. As a result, faculty instruction and the learning experiences of students change little or not at all.
These schools have taken the time to involve all stakeholders—including students—in substantive conversations about what digital tools will allow them to do differently compared with previous analog practices. Their visions promote the potential of computing devices to facilitate all of those elements we now think of as essential 21st-century capacities: confidence, curiosity, enthusiasm, passion, critical thinking, problem-solving, and self-direction. Technology doesn’t simply support traditional teaching—it transforms it for deeper thinking and gives students more agency over their own learning.
Another prevalent issue preventing technology change in schools is fear—fear of change, of the unknown, of letting go of what we know best, of being learners again. But it’s also a fear of letting kids have wide access to the Internet with the possibility of cyberbullying, access to inappropriate material, and exposure to online predators or even excessive advertising. Fears, of course, need to be surfaced and addressed.
The fear drives some schools to ban cellphones, disallow students and faculty from using Facebook, and lock down Internet filters so tightly that useful websites are inaccessible. They prohibit the use of Twitter and YouTube, and they block blogs. Some educators see these types of responses as principled stands against the shortcomings and hassles of digital technologies. Others see them as rejections of the dehumanization of the education process by soulless machines. Often, however, it’s just schools clinging to the past and elevating what is comfortable or familiar over the potential of technology to help them better deliver on their school missions.
Heads of school don’t have to be skilled users themselves to be effective technology leaders, but they do have to exercise appropriate oversight and convey the message—repeatedly—that frequent, meaningful technology use in school is both important and expected. Nostalgia aside, there is no foreseeable future in which the primacy of printed text is not superseded by electronic text and multimedia. When nearly all information is digital or online, multi-modal and multimedia, accessed by mobile devices that fit in our pockets, the question should not be whether schools prepare students for a digital learning landscape, but rather how.
Many educators aren’t necessarily afraid of technology, but they are so accustomed to heavily teacher-directed classrooms that they are leery about giving up control—and can’t see the value in doing so.
Although most of us recognize that mobile computers connected to the Internet may be the most powerful learning devices yet invented—and that youth are learning in powerful ways at home with these technologies—allowing students to have greater autonomy and ownership of the learning process can still seem daunting and questionable.
The “beyond” is particularly important. When we give students some voice in and choice about what and how they learn, we honor basic human needs for autonomy, we enhance students’ interest and engagement, and we truly actualize our missions of preparing lifelong learners.
The goal of instructional transformation is to empower students, not to disempower teachers. While instructor unfamiliarity with digital technologies, inquiry- or problem-based teaching techniques, or deeper learning strategies may result in some initial discomfort, these challenges can be overcome with robust support.
A few workshops here and there rarely result in large-scale changes in implementation.
teacher-driven “unconferences” or “edcamps,” at which educators propose and facilitate discussion topics, can be powerful mechanisms for fostering professional dialogue and learning. Similarly, some schools offer voluntary “Tech Tuesdays” or “appy hours” to foster digital learning among interested faculty.
In addition to existing IT support, technology integration staff, or librarians/media specialists, some schools have student technology teams that are on call for assistance when needed.
A few middle schools and high schools go even further and assign teachers their own individual student technology mentors. These student-teacher pairings last all school year and comprise the first line of support for educators’ technology questions.
As teachers, heads of school, counselors, coaches, and librarians, we all now have the ability to participate in ongoing, virtual, global communities of practice.
Whether formal or informal, the focus of technology-related professional learning should be on student learning, not on the tools or devices. Independent school educators should always ask, “Technology for the purpose of what?” when considering the inclusion of digital technologies into learning activities. Technology never should be implemented just for technology’s sake.
more on digital literacy for EDAD in this IMS blog
Twitter chats can boost student voice, enhance digital citizenship
Roger Riddell Dec. 19, 2017
This is another example of blanket statements aimed to bank on buzzwords and fashionable tendencies. Indeed, use of social media is an imperative skill for any educational leader, since it provides a modern venue to communicate with the rest of the stakeholders in the educational process: parents, students etc.
However, the process of social media use in education is rather more complex as presented in this article. e.g.:
- why Twitter? why is Twitter chosen by the author as the social media platform, considering that Snapchat is the social media app by choice of teenagers?
- why the hashtag use is the one and only altmetric consideration for deep data analysis? The author suggests taking “advantage of an analytic tool to measure effectiveness and participation,” but there is no specific recommendation and the choice of the analytical tool as well as the process of analysis is a science on its own
- how educators, as suggested by the author, “want to guide students on comment intensity and type while keeping them on topic”? Indeed, an educator abiding by constructivism will facilitate and guide, yet there is a fine boundary between facilitating and dominating the conversation with “guidance.”
The most useless suggestion in the article:
“For administrators, Twitter chats also provide an opportunity to gain student and parent perspectives while giving them more voice in what’s going on within a school or district.”
Are administrators willing to yield that power to their constituency? What does the current research on educational leaders’s attitude reveal regarding their willingness to engage in such open (and difficult to control) discourse? How is such attitude to be changed: this is missing in this article.
What is your approach to the institutional use of social media at your school?
Conference 1st to 4th March 2018 Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
Contact person: Angela Baker
Tracks: Age-Friendly Environments; Business and Aging; Global Aging Curriculum and Policy Issues; Translating Research to Education and Training; Program and Curriculum Development; Workforce Development
Global Leadership Week Next Week
April 25 – 29, 2016
Global Leadership Week (GLW) is a week-long celebration of leadership through global action in K-20 education, taking place April 25 – 29, 2016, and organized by the Global Education Conference (GEC) Network. GLW is an opportunity for global education leaders (and those who want to be!) to learn from one another and share effective principles in leadership, particularly within the context of an interconnected, global age.
During Global Leadership Week, leaders in schools, universities, non-profit organizations, and corporations have designed and will be hosting over 25 virtual events to showcase thought leadership. The global education community at large can choose to participate in these online activities by browsing event listings on the GLW calendar. All events are free of charge to attend.
You can participate actively in these events by posting comments and ideas to Twitter using the hashtag #globaled16. Global Leadership Week discussions are also being hosted in a new Edmodo feature called Topics. You’ll need a free Edmodo account to participate and we encourage you to respond to the prompts on this page: https://www.edmodo.com/topics/609/2016-Global-Leadership-Week. Also, feel free to add yourself to the participant map.
AND it’s still not too late to design and host a virtual event focused on global education leadership next week. We will post your event on our website’s calendar. If your organization is a sponsor or a non-profit, we will promote your event through social media. Submit to host an event here. And while time is short, if your organization can reach several thousand educators, consider joining us as an outreach partner. Email Lucy Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a short description of how you can help get the word out to your network and a logo for your organization.
This event is brought to you by people and organizations who believe in the power of globally connected teaching and learning. GLW is organized by the Global Education Conference Network, Flat Connections, GlobalEdLeader, Global Oneness Project, iEARN-USA, the Learning Revolution Project, and VIF International Education.