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.