You know Web 2.0? It’s not enough.

For a course I’m in, I’m reading the book Leading 21st Century Schools: Harnessing technology for engagement and achievement by Lynne Schrum and Barbara B. Levin. I’m only a chapter into it, and I found a couple sentences that really stick with me about the role and preparation of school leaders.

…we talked about the importance of school leaders becoming knowledgable about and having the skills and vision to be leaders of 21st-century schools. Providing the knowledge and a vision to lead by taking advantage of Web 2.0 is what this book is all about. Most of your young teachers and all your students are already skilled with using Web 2.0, but they need you to have the knowledge and the vision to use these tools for educational purposes.

This is not news to me (or likely any of you web readers), but I love how it is stated. It’s not enough for leaders (admins and teacher leaders) to be knowledgeable about technology and Web 2.0 resources. It’s not enough for leaders to be knowledgeable and use Web 2.0 resources for their own benefit. We must be able to use our knowledge and practical skills to benefit the learning of our students. Educators have to start somewhere with their knowledge and use of technology, but hopefully school leaders will make sure it quickly has an impact on student learning.

Ryan Bretag speaks to this topic frequently in his blog, and says this well in his post, “Tech-Rich Doesn’t Equal Learner Centered.”

Beware the shiny gadgets, as they don’t always equate to student learning. Angry Birds during inside recess isn’t going to cut it.

More videos to use with school staff

I like to add some humor and a different perspective to meetings whenever possible with school staff. We have so many meetings in education, so we might as well make them informative, entertaining, and bring in humor whenever possible and appropriate. I put up this post of videos in January, and as I’m getting ready to give my back to school address to my own staff, I found or was led to several more that can make a point with staff.

This one was shared with me by Dave Meister, a top-notch principal in Paris, IL. It is mostly entertaining, but I think it makes a great point about being a role model to students and staff when things aren’t going your way.

Shawn White shared this one with me. Sometimes we get so used to our routines and practices we stop thinking about the possibility of even doing something in a new way. You’ll never peel a banana the same way again.

Here is another video that can make a point about changing routines, but also about inconsiderate bosses who make change just for change’s sake. I absolutely love the movie Office Space, so I am glad that I can use a clip from that film in this post. Seriously, if you haven’t seen Office Space, please do so. Educators who get inundated with nit-picky paperwork (Special Ed folks?) will love the references to TPS reports. Anyone who has ever battled a copy machine, fax machine, or printer will also enjoy one scene in particular.

Our job as educators is to give people skills and abilities to take care of themselves in the world. This poor soul missed out on spelling and problem-solving skills.

This next clip from Career Builder can be used if you have a good climate in your building. I could see using this to make a point about looking out for one another and helping each other out when we are seeming to be under the burden of our jobs. I first saw this while at a Solution Tree conference in Minneapolis earlier this month. Thanks to Ken Williams for sharing it.

Another one I saw at the Solution Tree conference was shared by Dr. Bob Eaker. He is a fantastic person and speaker, so if you ever see him at a conference in your area, GO! He was talking about how teachers change lives and often rescue students from troubles in life. This clip certainly fits in with that message.

Please use these to add some humor and energy to your next meeting or presentation. Your audience will appreciate it. If you have others to share, please leave a comment here or find me on Twitter, @WiscPrincipal.

Where Good Ideas Come From

There is a lot of noise and distraction on the internet, but it is also a fabulous tool for connecting people and their ideas to make positive innovations. As University of Kentucky’s Dr. Justin Bathon shared in my class this morning, we need to find ways to “let our hunches bump into one another.” Share your ideas and listen to those of others. Then put them together to make something new.

WiscNet Connecting People: Curt Rees | WiscNet Wire

WiscNet Connecting People: Curt Rees | WiscNet Wire.

The former Mayor (now Regent?) of the Internet, John Pederson, embarks on a project for WiscNet to introduce educators from Wisconsin who use technology to advance the learning of their students and to advance their own knowledge and work. I guess he also is highlighting educators who use tech for self-promotion and trivial matters, because here is a blurb about me, written by my favorite author, me.

But seriously, WiscNet has great resources that benefit educators of all levels.

Marching band vs rock guitar

This video of a Viking war settled by music battles is very creative. I love the music, the art work, and the creativity of the idea itself. Makes me wonder how our current system of education can give the kids the curiosity, creativity, and skills to produce such work. Are we too busy making kids memorize “rigorous” facts? Are we too focused on making sure kids are proficient bubble fillers on high-stakes tests?

Enough pontificating from me. The video is entertaining on its own.