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The 21st Century Administrator


Are you feeling the pressures of the 21st century? There are different forces at work:
  • Digital natives who have much different expectations about education and need different types of skills to survive
  • Globalization that is changing the way we live and work
  • NCLB with a focus on the product rather than the process of teaching and learning

Watch Thomas Friedman at MIT: http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/266/

National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators:

http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForAdministrators/2002Standards/NETS_for_Administrators_2002_Standards.htm

1. Leadership and Vision: It's your job to be talking about these issues with your faculty and staff. But it's tough to provide leadership and vision in the ambiguity of the 21st century. One way might be to think about what Tom Friedman calls "the untouchables," those whose jobs or skills can't be outsourced. While there are specific jobs (basketball star or hairdresser) that will survive, there are also skills and dispositions that will provide a foundation for success. Leaders in the 21st century will have some combination of these skills and dispositions:
  • Great collaborators and orchestrators (Bring people together to make a difference)
  • Great synthesizers (Google; chief integration officers)
  • Great leveragers (Use tools to be more productive)
  • Great explainers (Educators, journalists, writers: but think 21st century writing)
  • "Green" Ones (Energy conservation)
  • Great localizers (Think globally, act locally))
  • Passionate personalizers (Add a personal touch)
  • Great adapters (Live for curve balls)

Which of these skills do you have? What about your faculty and staff? How are you helping students develop these skills? Share this with your faculty someday during a meeting...

What do these skills look like in schools? Here's a crosswalk between Friedman's ideas and 21st Century Skills:



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2. Learning and Teaching: This is about getting technology into the classroom. We know from diffusions of innovation literature that this is probably the toughest part. You'll have a few innovators and early adopters, but a large part of your faculty will be in the middle. Luckily, there's a new model that helps us think about how to approach them to help develop their technological pedagogical content knowledge. You can learn more about this model at the website: http://tpck.org/tpck/index.php?title=Main_Page. One thing I do in almost every professional development is play the TPACK game where teachers match these three items and come up with new ideas about integrating technology.

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3. Productivity and Professional Practice: This standard is all about being a role model for your faculty and staff. Become the lead learner. Try these things:
  • Set up a news aggregator to monitor education related news, weblogs, and podcasts: Here's my public aggregator with some sample blogs and news searches.
  • Start a blog where you share websites and other resources with your faculty: Here's a good beginning article.
  • Find a video at Edutopiato share with your faculty
  • Take an online class: Harvard has a great program!
  • Participate in a professional learning community: I'll bet Sheryl is setting one up for this group!

4.Support, Management, and Operations:
  • Take the IT director to lunch!
  • Be sure to include both instructional and technical people in every meeting.
  • Align technology with other parts of your school improvement plan.
  • Read more about Total Cost of Ownership: http://www.classroomtco.org/

5. Assessment and Evaluation
  • How do you assess teachers now? Assessing technology use should follow similar patterns: look for objectives, scaffolding, and appropriate use.
  • Think about the 5W's and the H:
    • What is the content? What is the tech?
    • Who is using it?
    • Where are they using it?
    • When are they using it?
    • How are they using it?
    • The MOST Important Question: WHY?

6. Social, Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Is there a digital divide in your school? Between certain teachers? Or subject areas? Or even within a classroom?
  • How are you helping your students learn to be safe online?
  • How are you helping your students learn to use the web as a research tool? Here's my wiki page for the internet safety workshop I'm doing this afternoon.
  • Here's how one university is dealing with this issue:


A Suggested Reading List:


Doug Johnson, What Does a Tech-Savvy Administrator Look Like? School Administrator v62 n5 p8 May 2005
Abstract: As technology plays an ever more mission-critical role in schools, technology literacy for district, building and program administrators is becoming mission-critical as well. The National Education Technology Plan (www.nationaledtechplan.org), released by the U.S. Department of Education in January 2005, has as its first action step to "strengthen leadership." But what does leadership strengthened with technology look like? In this article, the author discusses what it takes to be a tech-savvy administrator. Sections include: (1) Savvy Personified; and (2) A Harnessed Tool.

Theodore Creighton, The Principal as Technology Leader.
Abstract: This book explores the complexities of change and implementation of technology in schools. It looks at current research while providing guidelines to development and planning, and includes sample technology plans. In addition, the book highlights instructional leadership and curriculum, the digital divide between needs and availability, needs assessment, strategic planning, staff technophobia, TSSA (Technology Standards for School Administrators) standards, constructivism and engaged learning, and community support. It advances the argument for staff development and technology implementation that will enhance student achievement, rather than relying on outdated methods of drill and practice. The book contains the following chapters: (1) "Principal Leadership and Successful Technology Implementation"; (2) "Are Schools and Technology Leaders Doing Enough?"; (3) "Why Do Technology Programs Fail?"; (4) "Strategic Planning for Technology: An Oxymoron?"; (5) "Setting the Stage for Staff Development: Uniting Technology and Constructivist Teaching and Learning Environments"; (6) "Resisters and Saboteurs: Dealing with Teachers Resistant to Technology Implementation"; (7) "Teacher Evaluation and the Use of Technology"; (8) "Sustaining Effective Technology Plans: Management and Leadership"; (9) "The Future: Leadership and Technology Implementation"; (10) "OK, School Leaders, Let's Put One Together." A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) matrix for technology planning and a list of administrative dimensions and "look-fors" are appended. Includes and index. (Contains 59 references.) (MES)

Kathy Ishizuka, Follow the Leader, School Library Journal v51 n12 p56-57 Dec 2005
Abstract: Tim Tyson, the principal of Mabry Middle School in Marietta Georgia, is a self-described geek with Ph.D. in education. Tyson was responsible for making the seventh graders at Mabry to attain above grade level in reading. To attain this goal, Tyson has made sure that the technology used at Mabry was thoughtfully integrated across the school's curriculum. In this article, the author presents an interview with Tyson wherein he talked about his views on technology and learning. Tyson also discussed why he decided to emphasize experiential learning even though the president's education plan, No Child Left Behind, promotes standards-based education

Eric Jones, Strategies to Put Instruction Ahead of Technology, Principal Leadership v7 n6 p35-39 Feb 2007
Abstract: One-to-one computing, laptop learning, technology immersion: such initiatives are gaining momentum--and sparking excitement and controversy--in middle level and high schools, but the key to their success is more than cutting-edge technology. Henrico County Public Schools, a pioneer in educational technology in Virginia, launched a one-to-one computing initiative in 2001. But the professional development approach that supported the initiative was driven more by the products than by instructional needs, and as a result, the district did not achieve all the results it wanted for teachers or students. When the district decided to switch to a new computer platform and implement Dell notebook computers in all its high schools in the 2004-2005 school year, it initiated a new professional development program that acknowledged the lessons learned from the past and defined a clear vision for the future. One lesson resulted in a fundamental shift in the program: all professional development must be approached from an instructional rather than a technical viewpoint. This article describes the strategies adopted by the district to put instruction ahead of technology. Rather than simply learning the basics of how to use a technology tool, teachers now learn how to use the tool to improve teaching and learning in their classrooms. Training is embedded in instruction, not isolated from it, and is driven by the skills that teachers need to use the technology in the classroom, not by the technology itself. Included with this article is "The Technology Integration Progression Chart."

Michael Simkins, Everyday Innovation: Ten Practical Tips for Fostering Innovation, Technology & Learning v26 n11 p32 Jun 2006
Abstract: For educators to be successful in teaching students to step up and become tomorrow's innovators, they must become innovators themselves. Enter school leadership. This article provides 10 practical steps any superintendent, principal, or other administrator can take to help make that happen: (1) Go on record; (2) Model innovation; (3) Pollinate; (4) Nurture expert practice; (5) Build a receptive climate; (6) Budget for innovation; (7) Hold people accountable; (8) Declare a "holiday from routine"; (9) Bring problems to the group; and (10) Develop an innovation management plan.

Margaret Haughley, The Impact of Computers on the Work of the Principal: Changing Discourses on Talk, Leadership and Professionalism, School Leadership & Management v26 n1 p23-36 Feb 2006
Abstract: This paper, based on a two-year study involving interviews with 30 principals about the impact of computers on their work, explores their responses through the concepts of talk, distributed leadership, professionalization and knowledge management. Gronn's elucidation of the ways power is handled through discourse is an interesting counterpoint to the principals' accounts of the use of email and the push for immediacy. The current emphasis on distributed leadership mimics the distributive power of the network. There is some evidence that schools are becoming networks rather than hierarchies while professionalization has created communities that go beyond the boundaries of the school. Knowledge management is evident both in regulated activities and in informal communities used to support the dynamic structure of school life.

David Coffland and Albert Strickland, Factors Related to Teacher Use of Technology in Secondary Geometry Instruction, Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching v23 n4 p347-365 2004
Abstract: This survey sought to identify variables related to teacher use of technology in secondary level geometry classrooms in southeastern Idaho. The primary variables examined in the study were teacher technology awareness, teacher attitude toward technology, teacher technology training, and teacher computer use for instruction. This study also tested for associations between these primary variables and principal attitude toward technology and a selected group of demographic variables: geometry teaching experience, number of sections of geometry taught, college mathematics major, and computer lab access. Four significant relationships were found. An inverse relationship was found between teacher computer use and the number of geometry sections taught. Direct relationships were found between teacher attitude and both teacher technology awareness and principal attitude. Finally, a direct relationship between type of teacher training and teacher instructional computer use was reported. (Contains 5 tables.)

Doreen Gosmire and Marilyn Grady, A Bumpy Road: Principal as Technology Leader, Principal Leadership v7 n6 p16-21 Feb 2007
Abstract: Technology expenditures and usage in schools have risen by nearly 300 percent during the last three decades. Few principals claim to be technology experts, but most aspire to design a map that leads their schools to success with educational technology. The key to success on the journey is not to know everything, but to ask the right questions. This article presents ten questions that will help principals lead others to technology success: (1) What are the technology trends I need to know about?; (2) What does the research say about schools and technology?; (3) What do I need to know about technology to move my school forward?; (4) Are there guidelines to help me?; (5) How do I construct a safety net for technology in the school?; (6) How do I know I have created effective policies and plans?; (7) How do I promote the integration of technology in the classroom?; (8) How much will all of this cost and where do I get the funds?; (9) How do I work with technology experts?; and (10) How will I measure success?

Kathleen Gora and Janice Hinson, Teacher-to-Teacher Mentoring. For Tech Teachers, Learning and Leading with Technology v31 n4 p36-40 Dec-Jan 2003-2004
Abstract: Many principals want to provide effective professional development to assist teachers with technology integration, but they don't know where to begin. Sometimes teachers participate in professional development opportunities offered by local school districts, but these one-size-fits-all experiences seldom address teachers' specific needs or skill levels, resulting in uneven or infrequent implementation that rarely leads to instructional change. The Technology Study Group (TSG) Professional Development Model developed primarily by Maria Cloessner, the principal of Most Blessed Sacrament School, a K-8 Catholic school of 556 students, represents an effort to provide her teachers with comprehensive, in-house professional development to promote a positive change in instructional practice. The model can be adapted easily for use in a variety of public and private school settings.
http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=EJ694015

Christine Mason, The Future of Technology in Schools, Principal Leadership v5 n8 p46-52 Apr 2005
Abstract: This article discusses how principals and other educators can stay in pace with the future of technology in schools. Although principals cannot predict the future of technology, they can prepare for future technologies by joining "trend-watching" groups and being aware of the latest technology and equity issues. With awareness, information, and preparation, inequities that exist today can be addressed and future inequities prevented or reduced. Being a part of the digital age requires information, learning, and determination, and a dedicated and forward-thinking group can begin to address many concerns now to prepare for an exciting, technology-rich future. (Contains 5 online resources.)

Betsy Price, Who's in Control of the Technology-Integrated School?, Principal Leadership v6 n1 p51-53, 55-56 Sep 2005
Abstract: In recent years, principals have had to act as referees for a new type of match between teachers and technology staff members, affectionately known as the "techies." This time the match is for the control of the technology-integrated classroom. Creating technology-integrated classrooms often puts the interests of teachers in opposition to the interests of technology staff members. To determine the number and types of computers it needs, a school should follow the business model and let the software create the demand for hardware. Schools can use a three-tiered classification system to determine who will use technology and how it will be used. Each of these classifications--teaching, classroom management, and information technology--requires a different type of computing power, networking, and professional development. Principals cannot be technology experts, but they must hire staff members and teachers who will work together as a team to make decisions about technology issues. This will require principals to hone their negotiation, debate, and facilitation skills. Just being a referee for matches between teachers and techies will not be sufficient for the next stage of integrating technology into the regular classroom routine.