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?
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.
Muzzy Lane Software, a Newbury, Mass.-based game development platform.
The study, “The Potential for Game-based Learning to Improve Outcomes for Nontraditional Students,” is based on research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and includes insights from a survey of 1,700 students, 11 in-person focus groups and interviews with teachers and school leaders. Educators said games could be especially helpful in several areas: auto-assessing whether students can apply what they’ve learned, building employment competencies and improving study skills.
Definition: Muzzy Lane characterizes them as learners who meet two of the following criteria: – returning to school after pausing their education,
– balancing education with work and family responsibilities,
– English as a second language learners, or
– the first members of their families to attend college.
more about game based learning in this IMS blog
Profile of a technologically literate graduate
By Jorge Valenzuela 1/7/2019
digital equity and digital citizenship
use your divisionwide or statewide profile of a graduate.
STEP 1: Have a model and unpack it
In my state of Virginia (like many other states), we focus on these four:
- Content knowledge
- Workplace skills
- Community engagement and civic responsibility
- Career exploration
STEP 2: Tag team with colleagues to plan instruction
In step one we created our graduate profile by brainstorming and identifying both the personal and professional knowledge and skills that our future graduates need. Now it’s time to formulate plans to bring the profile to fruition. To ensure student success, implementation should take place in the classroom and tap the expertise of our colleagues.
Student success is never due to one teacher, but a collaborative effort.
STEP 3: Identify and leverage the right industry partners
Technological literacy requires students to create authentic products using appropriate edtech, therefore developing technologically literate graduates should not be left entirely to teachers and schools.
Soliciting the help of our industry and business partners is so crucial to this process
Step 4: Create career pathways in schools
schools create systemic K-12 career pathways — or pipelines — for their students and give teachers ample time and space to plan and work together to maximize the learning aligned to well-developed graduate profiles.
The big jobs of small-town principals
Rural school leaders have some of the most complex roles in education — and some of the highest attrition
by CAROLINE PRESTON December 6, 2018
The big jobs of small-town principals
Rural school leaders have some of the most complex, multifaceted jobs in education. They also have some of the highest turnover. Half of all new principals quit their jobs within three years, according to a 2014 study. A national survey released in July found that principals in rural school districts are even less likely than their urban and suburban counterparts to stay at their school the following year and more likely to leave the profession altogether. The schools they preside over, meanwhile, often struggle with persistent poverty, low college-going rates and extreme racial disparities in student outcomes.
more on principals in this IMS blog