Thursday, May 19, 2016

It's Not That Hard...

I just read this article, Six Keys to Effective Digital Leadership, and must say that effective digital leadership, or any leadership for that matter, is not that hard.  It's really about the mission and goals of your educational institution, sticking by these goals, and believing in what you do.  Naturally, communication and buy-in from stakeholders is EXTREMELY important.
Image result for digital leadership
Sheninger's Book
The article referenced Eric Sheninger, a high school principal in New Jersey.  His first quote, hit me right away, "If the leaders don't get it, it's not going to happen.  Yet the people in charge of leading schools in the 21st century often are the least knowledgeable about the 21st century."  Tell me that doesn't strike a chord....

According to Sheninger, the six keys are:

  1. Don't make excuses ("If it's important to you, you'll find a way to make it happen.  If not, you'll find an excuse.")
  2. Give up control (hard one, huh?   We often teach the way we were taught.)
  3. Put pedagogy first, and technology second.  (I cannot emphasize this one enough!!!!)
  4. Build relationships and break down silos
  5. Work smarter, not harder - this applies to life in general!
  6. Seek out feedback - how else do we adjust and improve?
Image result for digital leadership

I think Sheninger summed it up best when he stated, "Pedagogy is the driver, while technology is the accelerator.  Technology is simply a tool and not a learning outcome by itself..... the real outcomes you should be looking for are the things like finding answers, creating products, taking action, changing peoples' minds, and making a difference in the world."

Earlier today, I received an email from a teacher, asking that we add more behavior codes to our student information system to reflect electronic device violations, because according to her, "they are out of control."  This relates directly to Sheninger's article - and #2 --> GIVE UP CONTROL.  If teachers model effective use of devices, they become a powerful learning tool; providing students with autonomy and personalized learning opportunities, while using devices or not, helps (#4) build relationships and break down silos.  Also, isn't doing so (#5) working smarter, not harder?  

We are dealing with a generation of students who do not know life without the internet.  More information is available now than ever before.  As educators, we need to learn about this and teach students how to navigate it correctly and meaningfully.

This takes me back to mission, goals, and core beliefs.  Anything is possible.  It really comes down to how badly you want to make it happen.

No comments:

Post a Comment