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ed leadership and edtech

Edtech playground: Helping teachers choose better tools

By Nicole Krueger Leadership

https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=2177

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.

 

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More on ISTE in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=iste

more on digital literacy for ed leaders in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=digital+literacy+EDAD

leadership vs management

Are you leading or managing? Are you being led or managed? Which do you prefer?
Joe Keshmiri | Mar 20, 2018
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-leading-managing-being-led-manged-which-do-prefer-joe-keshmiri

LEADERSHIP IS…

the process of influencing others to understand and agree what needs to be done and how it can be done effectively, and

the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish the shared objectives

LEADERS ARE…

People who carry out these processes

or, people in positions of authority in societies/organizations

Yukl 2010

The Difference between Leaders and Managers:

  • Both personalities were thought to produce a different sense of self that would guide conduct and attitudes.
  • Managers are seen as regulators and perpetuators of the existing institutions, identifying with them.
  • Leaders were viewed as individuals who did not depend on membership for identity, working for an organization but never belonging to them.
  • This distinction offered a theoretical basis for understanding why leaders seek opportunities for change

(Mintzberg, and Kotter, et al 1998)

  • Leader seek change and innovation
  • Leaders do not depend on others or institutions for identity
  • Leaders work for the organization but do not belong to them
  • Managers and leaders are different
  • Leaders are active, not reactive, they exert an influence to alter moods, evoke images and expectations
  • Managers are more rational, more detached, more concerned with process and tactics than with substance.

(Zaleznik 1977)

Management – ‘to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct’.

Leadership –’influencing, guiding in direction, course, action, opinion’.

Bennis and Nanus (1985):

Leadership

  • Creates change
  • Works through relationships with people
  • Establishing direction
  • Aligning people
  • Motivating and inspiring

Kotter 1990

Management is:

  • Planning and budgeting
  • Organizing and staffing
  • Controlling and problem solving

Kotter 1990

The real challenge is:

To combine strong leadership and strong management and use each to balance the other

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more on leadership in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=leadership

challenges ed leaders technology

The Greatest Challenge Facing School Leaders in a Digital World

By Scott McLeod     Oct 29, 2017

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-10-29-the-greatest-challenge-facing-school-leaders-in-a-digital-world

the Center for the Advanced Study of Tech­nology Leadership in Education – CASTLE

Vision

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.

Fear

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.

Control

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.

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.

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more on digital literacy for EDAD in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=digital+literacy+edad

Twitter and ed leadership

Twitter chats can boost student voice, enhance digital citizenship

  Dec. 19, 2017

https://www.educationdive.com/news/twitter-chats-can-boost-student-voice-enhance-digital-citizenship/513340/

My note:
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?
    http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2018/01/06/snapchat-leading-social-media-app/
  • 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? 

 

ed leadership conference

AGHE Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference

Conference  1st to 4th March 2018  Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

Website: https://www.aghe.org/events/annual-meeting
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

emotional intelligent leader

6 Proven Ways to Spot an Emotional Intelligent Leader

Directing attention toward where it needs to go is a primal task of leadership.
http://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/6-proven-ways-to-spot-an-emotional-intelligent-leader.html

1. They have self- awareness. Emotionally intelligent leaders understand their own emotions and know how to manage them. They don’t speak out of frustration or anger; they control their emotions and wait to speak up until their feelings have settled and they have processed their thoughts. They don’t react in the heat of the moment but wait to respond.

2. They respond to criticism and feedback. Every leader faces feedback, some of it negative. Emotionally intelligent leaders don’t become defensive or take it personally. They listen, process, and genuinely consider other points of view, and because they’re always looking to improve, they know how to accept sincere critiques.

3. They know how to generate self-confidence. Emotionally intelligent leaders share a healthy dose of confidence but never cross the line into arrogance. When they don’t understand something, they ask open-ended questions that aim to gather information, not challenge or argue. They know how to give and take in a way that generates confidence.

4. They know the importance of checking their ego.Leaders who have to demonstrate their own importance or value are not yet connected to true leadership or emotional intelligence. Those who are know how to speak and act out of concern of others. They don’t always have to be the center of attention, and they would never take credit for the work of others. Secure in their own abilities, they’re generous and gracious to others.

5. They know how to embody empathy. Leaders with emotional intelligence can put themselves in others’ shoes. They listen with genuine interest and attention and make it a point to understand, then give back in a way that benefits themselves and others. They know how to create win-win situations.

6. They know how to engage with empowerment. The best leaders–the ones with the highest EQs–make it their mission to believe in others and empower them to believe in themselves. Instead of focusing on themselves they know it’s the power of the people that makes leadership successful, so that’s where they focus their efforts.

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more about leadership in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=leadership

good leaders make you feel safe

Why good leaders make you feel safe – Simon Sinek

http://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-good-leaders-make-you-feel-safe-simon-sinek

trust and cooperation are “feeling,” not “instruction”

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more on leadership in this IMS blog:
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=leadership

interview q/s for school leaders

Interview Questions for 1:1 School Leaders

http://www.edurolearning.com/interview-questions-for-school-leaders/

found in G+ https://plus.google.com/+JeffUtechtEd/posts/Vys7LxSjzuW

help administrators as they start hiring for their 1:1 environment with some questions they can ask during the interview process.

Questions for teachers entering a 1:1 school

What computer platform are you most comfortable with, Mac, PC or tablet?

Why do you want to work in a 1:1 school?

What particular challenges and learning opportunities excite you about working in a 1:1 school like ours?

Being able to look up information and resources on the web is an important skill. Explain how you go about looking up information on the web. How do you verify that the information you find is trustworthy and of use to you and your students?

Knowing we are a 1:1 school and that we expect students to use their laptops for learning, what is something that you would start learning and thinking about today to prepare you for this new learning environment?

At what times do you feel that it would be appropriate to have “lids down”?  When do you believe a laptop is not a tool for appropriate use?

How comfortable are you with using online resources in your classroom? What are some resources you’ve used in the past? How have you found these resources?

Tell me how you think the future you are preparing children for will be different?

How often do you/have you taken part in technology Professional Development opportunities?

Do you read any professional magazines or educational blogs as part of your own PD? If so, which ones?

What apps do you use to curate information?

What apps do you use to curate information?

Do you have a Personal Learning Network? If so, can you tell me a story of how you learn from your network.

How often do others come to you for guidance in using technology? Do you offer guidance when not asked? If so, describe how you did this recently?

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