If the leaders don’t get it, it’s not going to happen

I’m in a session on Leaders and how to make change happen.

Everyone wants to help kids learn, but there’s a default orientation in the climate of accountability for administrators–conception of how learning happens is different from what is going on in the conversations at places like Edubloggercon. (not sure who that was speaking)

Speaker talking–We need to talk on the ground specifics. Show administrators how on the ground tools make their jobs easier.

David Warlick is asking about why not have strands at conferences where students are demonstrating their tools to adults.

Another speaker pointing out that we need to find ways for leaders to be instructional leaders instead of managers/disciplinarians, etc.

Two questions:(from Influencer?)
Is it worth it?
Can I do it?

Administrator 2.0 academy (cliotech)

Ewan–reading quote–that for leaders the temptation is to “manage.” He’s pointing out that in Scotland as an educator, he’s expected to “get on with it” and just do his job. If the role of the leader isn’t to “do something”–what is it?

Chris Lehmann — as principal your job is to do whatever you can for teachers to help them make the job of educating students possible.

At SLA, motto is– If you aren’t afraid to lose your job, you shouldn’t have the job 😉

AS a principal, trust has to be there. Have to model behaviors you expect teachers to use. If we expect or want teachers to use tools, we have to model that.

Steve (don’t know his name)–Trojan Horse learning….You do the training but you spend part of the time sharing information that resonates with the leaders. For example, you share the safety tips on web 2.0, but then you also emphasize the importance of social networking for students and them being on the digital playground.

Steve–We used to do staff development TO teachers. What he’s seeing lately is we create a buffet of possibilities and let the teachers live in them, and try them, in a low stakes environment. Teachers should be experimenting, playing, etc.

Djakes thinks administrators need to know about technology and how it applies to the learning process. Would you be satisfied with administrators that only partially know about how teacher evaluation works? or testing works?

Student April from Illinois math and science academy (senior)– as students, we are digitally literate. Her school taught safety lessons, but had no filtering. Educated and then trusted, and students behaved responsibly.

Chris Lehmann sharing a program in NYC–two week bootcamp–four people from each school(1 admin. 3 teachers), morning theory, afternoon practical–group planned something. Those people in the academy are still leaders in technology. If we want people to get it, we have to create the time and space for people to do it. Work towards notion about coming together around innovation that moves us forward with thoughtful deliberate ideas.

2 thoughts on “If the leaders don’t get it, it’s not going to happen

  1. I remember TCEA’s survey after the last conference and they asked for suggestions for keynote speakers. I suggested they bring in some students. Let the students share what they are using or not using in their classrooms vs. what they are accessing and learning outside of school.

    Not being an active participant at the Edublogger conference, I am watching videos and reading blogs where people are discussing ideology and philosophy for changing education.

    Being on the ground floor or on the front line, I know that the difficulty is in taking the things from these discussions and applying them to reality. We can discuss and blog about it until we are blue in the face.

    I wonder if in some way, we are as Ian Jukes described “beating a dead horse in education” again and again with these discussions. The NECC and Edubloggercon discussions are right on. Don’t get me wrong. But when do we get the right mix of discussion with practicality?

  2. Following the blogs and videos as well,(I admit, it’s been like christmas eve all over again) and agree that, ” If the leaders don’t get it, it’s not going to happen. At our school, I saw this coming and took the iniative to introduce the cyber world to the individuals who either had minds made up-due to fear, or lack of resources or interest. I wrote every grant I could, set up extra time to sit “patiently-key word there”, with teachers, students, & parents explaining, showing and teaching, that there fear of new technology was easy to get past once shown the simplification and the actual mind boggling concept of the new technologies, that w/ or w/o exception it was going to happen. I made it so much fun, which turned the session into a room filled with excited participants eager to learn more. Ages ranged from 50some to 8 year olds (I am Montessori based). I’ m sure this news is old, but I used Alice just to take away the fear and move forward progressivly. Again, I took this upon myself. Will schools do this on their own? We can’t afford empty promises. Take the initiative and show your schools what you got. But start off slow and so fun it blows their minds .

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