CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) provides a quick guide to the role of superintendents in leading technology integration in your districts. How do you or your district’s superintendent stack up to these five key areas?
- Understand the educational potential of Web 2.0. To be an effective district leader, you need to understand how Web 2.0 applications and tools are creating a participatory culture of learning, an anytime, everywhere environment for learning, and transforming the educational landscape. It’s happening already—and you need to have enough experience with Web 2.0 to be a credible leader. Start with the Explore Web 2.0 and Building Your Knowledge and Skills activities. But don’t stop there. Keep learning on your own.
- Model the use of Web 2.0 with your school community. Choose some Web 2.0 applications and tools that work for you—and make sure your staff, school board and community members are aware that you are using them. Introduce a blog, podcast or videocast on your district Web site to share your priorities and perspectives. Try Web 2.0 collaboration, project management or brainstorming tools for staff or team meetings and projects. Enhance professional development with activities that incorporate online social networking. Use Web 2.0 tools to create compelling visual presentations at staff or board meetings. Modeling the use of Web 2.0 will go a long way toward making others realize that your support for new approaches is not merely rhetoric.
- Develop a vision of Web 2.0 for achieving your district’s goals. Your district needs more than a scattershot approach for harnessing the potential of Web 2.0. You need a vision. Collaborate with district and school leaders, technology leaders, lead teachers, parents and students to articulate a shared vision for using Web 2.0 strategically to support critical educational challenges. CoSN’s Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent initiative offers guidance and resources for district leaders.
- Provide support for educational uses of Web 2.0. Making Web 2.0 an integrated component of education requires leadership actions. This includes developing sensible policies for safe and secure Web 2.0 use, planning investments in the technology infrastructure, and providing ongoing, job-embedded professional development and training for administrators and educators to use Web 2.0 to support teaching and learning. Collaborate with your staff to provide these kinds of ongoing supports.
- Be an advocate of Web 2.0. Create opportunities to showcase the potential of Web 2.0. Promote teachers’ and students’ accomplishments with Web 2.0 applications and tools. Explain how Web 2.0 can help your district achieve its goals more affordably and efficiently. Show how Web 2.0 is helping schools engage and motivate students, build new kinds of skills, and prepare for college and career readiness. Your advocacy can help build community support for Web 2.0—and take away the fear factor that some people experience.
If you’re not a superintendent, pass this on to all of your central administrators and encourage them to visit the CoSN site for more professional learning tools, including the knowledge and skills needed by a 21st century educational leader and the actions a superintendent can take right now to move your district forward.
Here’s a link to get you started: http://www.cosn.org/Initiatives/Web2/SuperintendentsAdmin/SuperintendentsRole/tabid/6494/Default.aspx