District leadership sets the tone. Teachers and students can "catch" the feelings, visions, and ideas of those who truly lead. It is imperative for all leaders, regardless of their role, to advocate and model the effective integration of technology.
So, my advice for leaders is this: Make 1 upgrade this year.
Let me start by giving you a quick example. Last week, I upgraded my alarm clock. My new alarm clock has a variety of settings, such as "waterfall wakeup," blinking lights, and the ability to be programmed for several different alarms. This has made my life JUST a little bit better. Although I had to take a risk the first time I set it, I was ultimately happy with my upgrade.
Leaders, you can upgrade your old practices with technology.
Consider the following upgrade ideas:
- Use Google Forms instead of email to collect information from staff quickly and easily.
- During a staff meeting, have teachers collectively brainstorm on a TypeWithMe document instead of using the whiteboard. This will allow you to have a record of the conversation to which everyone can contribute.
- Create a free Dropio account. Call the account with your phone to create digital recordings of meetings or conversations that you would like to revisit at a later time.
- Read Clay Shirky's new book, Cognitive Surplus. (Or watch the brief TED talk on the book here.) Use quotes from the text to remind your staff regularly that creating something is always better than nothing.
- Play a video game that is popular right now. Any game. See how it sucks you in? That's scaffolded learning. Looks for the elements in the game during teacher observations.
Leaders, let's upgrade!