Anna Egalite, assistant professor of leadership and policy at NC State. Previously, Anna taught elementary school and did a postdoc at Harvard. She’ll be writing about education-leadership research—what we know, where we have good intuitions, and where we’re still very much in the dark.
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?
Guajardo, M., Oliver, J. A., Rodríguez, G., Valadez, M. M., Cantú, Y., & Guajardo, F. (2011). Reframing the Praxis of School Leadership Preparation through Digital Storytelling. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 6(5), 145–161. http://doi.org/10.1177/194277511100600504
p. 149-150. Digital storytelling applies techniques that cross disciplines, fields, and subject matter. Digital storytelling pioneer Dana Atchley used the varied techniques such as case study, personal experience, introspection, life story, interviews, artifacts, cultural texts, observations, historical interaction, visual texts, and others (Lambert, 2002, 2006). Atchley’s techniques are firmly rooted in research methodology and collectively describe routine and problematic moments and meanings in individuals’ lives (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000; Lambert, 2006). Qualitative researchers often refer to this process as a bricolage, or the creation or construction from a variety of things. This bricolage helps Downloaded from jrl.sagepub.com at SAINT CLOUD STATE UNIV on June 8, 2016 Guajardo et. al./REFRAMING THE PRAXIS OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP 150 to clarify our ontologies and inform epistemologies. Ladson-Billings (2000) explained epistemologies as more than the traditional way of knowing. Instead, epistemologies are a system of knowing that has both internal logic and external validity. The assortments of experiences used to inform our way of knowing then become the deliberate choices between hegemony and liberation. This process allows individuals to move beyond a traditional epistemological stance, or what Stanley (2007) has called the master narrative. Shujaa (1997) has called it a worldview epistemology that looks at knowledge as a symbiotic interaction of how we view the world, the knowledge we possess, and the knowledge we are capable of passing on to others.
p. 156 digital storytelling has been found to help organizations understand themselves (Militello & Guajardo, 2011). When organizations delve into introspective practices through the use of digital media, small and large organizations alike invite the opportunity to learn from deep, digital reflection.
While the hybrid roles that teachers play at teacher-powered schoolsmay seem like a lot of work, they give teachers the power to decide what programs, textbooks, software, etc., should or should not be used in order to make space for the community’s vision. And when teachers decide together on the vision and strategy to reach all students, they are often more invested and excited by the change they are creating from within.
Some of the best available examples of how to improve teacher quality and promote teacher leadership lie in models offered by other high-performing places, like Finland and Singapore.
Seven qualities must be in place.
A vision and strategy for teacher leadership, “with stated goals and clear images of tasks to be done, must be in place.” Teachers must feel part of creating this vision in order to buy in.
A supportive administration. “Principals must be willing to share power with teachers and must have the skills to cultivate them as leaders,” most educational leadership programs focus on supervising teachers, not supporting them as leaders.
There need to be appropriate human and fiscal resources.
Work structures that enable authentic collaboration are crucial. While more resources help on this point, there are creative ways to stretch limited dollars.
Supportive social norms and working relationships are key to teacher leadership. “All too often, policymakers develop incentives to motivate teachers and administrators,” . “Instead, policies and programs should be in place to value teachers spreading their expertise to one another, allowing teaching to be exercised as a team sport.”
Organizational politics must allow for blurred lines between roles. Teachers can only take on leadership roles at the expense of principals and district-level administrators. This also requires teacher unions to act more as “professional guilds” and for districts to follow the example of some for-profit businesses that are flattening bureaucracies.
The school and system must be oriented toward risk-taking and inquiry. Just as students need hands-on applied learning rooted in inquiry, so, too, do teachers need powerful driving questions to push their work forward. “School systems must be able to interrogatethemselves about the extent to which they create opportunities for teachers to learn and lead in ways that spread teaching expertise and improve student outcomes.”
The Tech & Learning Virtual Leadership Summit is an exclusive, FREE, invitation-only virtual event for top-level executives from school districts around the country with education technology buying responsibilities. Taking the best of Tech & Learning’s in-person Leadership Summits, the Virtual Summit will provide an environment where district leaders can share their successes and challenges in facilitated small group discussions.
The phrase “school-to-prison pipeline” has long been used to describe how schools respond to disciplinary problems with excessively stringent policies that create prison-like environments and funnel children who don’t fall in line into the criminal justice system. Now, schools are investing in surveillance systems that will likely exacerbate existing disparities.
A number of tech companies are capitalizing on the growing market for student surveillance measures as various districts and school leaders committhemselves to preventing acts of violence. Rekor Systems, for instance, recently announced the launch of OnGuard, a program that claims to “advance student safety” by implementing countless surveillance and “threat assessment” mechanisms in and around schools.
While none of these methods have been proven to be effective in deterring violence, similarsystems have resulted in diverting resources away from enrichment opportunities, policing school communities to a point where students feel afraid to express themselves, and placing especially dangerous targets on students of color who are already disproportionately mislabeled and punished.ProPublica
Since edtech varies from district to district and state to state, it’s unlikely that an IT candidate will be up-to-speed on the current system in use. Alabama solves this problem by offering the Alabama Chief Technology Officer certification program.
It is critical for those in K-12 IT leadership to understand the unique customer service needs of the education industry. When technology doesn’t work, it throws a wrench into an entire day of learning. Educators need a fast fix and responsive service. Effective tech leaders will delegate by teaming up with tech-savvy teachers who can serve as school tech leaders. This strategy allows for an on-site tech expert to step in to put out fires before the tech expert arrives.
Former teachers can also make strong chief technology officers because they understand both tech and education. This allows them to build trust with the staff, which is a critical component to launching new technology initiatives.
School districts are more connected than ever. The latest Infrastructure Survey report from CoSN shows that over 90% of districts have sufficient broadband. So why isn’t everyone using it to generate measurable outcomes?
How technology can be used in the classroom to help support learning and productivity How school leaders can calculate the value of their tech investments
The importance of video when it comes to keeping students engaged (hint: video is key)
The most important metrics to consider when collecting data on your technology (it’s ok to start small)
Principals trained and supported by New Leaders — a New York City-based nonprofit — are contributing to higher student achievement and staying in their jobs longer than those hired through other preparation programs, a new RAND Corp. study shows.
Students attending K-8 schools that have had a New Leaders principal for at least three years score at least 3% higher in math and roughly 2% higher in English language arts (ELA) than students with school leaders prepared in other ways.
The RAND researchers found that specific aspects of being a leader — specifically competencies related to instruction, and adult and team leadership — were more closely associated with increases in student achievement.
What New Leaders calls “cultural capital,” which includes skills related to “cultural leadership” and “operational leadership,” was more closely linked to retention.
A 2017 Stanford University study showed that academic growth among CPS students in grades 3-8 was increasing at a faster rate than in most districts in the nation.