National Ed Tech Plan – Leadership Quote

“For public education to benefit from the rapidly evolving development of information and communication technology, leaders at every level; must not only supervise, but provide informed, creative, and ultimately transformative leadership for systemic change“

This quote from the National Educational Technology Plan identifies two missing links in our thinking about educational transformation:

1. It calls on leaders at every level to take part in the effort.

2. It makes the distinction between supervision and creative, tranformative leadership.

So let’s explore two questions:

What leaders is the plan talking about, and how can each contribute?

What are is the difference between supervision and transformative leadership?

Your thoughts?


4 thoughts on “National Ed Tech Plan – Leadership Quote

  1. When “they” identify leaders at every level I believe that means department heads, mentor teachers, administrators, ed. tech specialists and directors, PTO/PTA presidents, community leaders, student body officers: all leadership position people that can influence educational technology. Each can influence in their own way from head teachers who can model technology integration in their classrooms to community members and student leaders who can request and push for meaningful and authentic applications of collaborative technology tools such as blogs or podcasts where students can share their ideas with a global audience and contribute what they have to say.

    Transformative leadership is disruptive and challenges the status quo (I believe supervision is maintaining the status quo). Transformative leadership provides opportunities to take risks and allows educators and students to make a real difference by pushing the envelope and breaking down the walls of classrooms that have become sterile and unimaginative. Technology tools such as Skype or wikis allow teachers and students to reach beyond their classrooms and to connect with other young people that have different perspectives and ideas. Transformative leadership facilitates these networks through a bottom up approach that empowers those closest to the challenge and consistently works to build trust by allowing the freedom to try new things, to fail, to succeed, and to practice education without fear or retribution. Transformative leaders don’t supervise such efforts, but they are an integral part of the process via example and modeling behavior, and they exist as someone educators and students can count on when the road is undefined and innovative.

  2. Neil.
    I’ve been away at the beach…thanks for the thoughful response. Regarding paragraph one…how do we activate these “leaders at all levels”? Especially if they don’t view themselves as leaders. AND where do folks learn to be transformative leaders? Most of our Ed Admin programs are developing supervisors and administrators; not leaders.

    Regarding p2, I think another aspect of a leader is that he or she holds the vision for the team. THe supervisor often is acting on the operational aspects of the school. Also, leaders might not know much about technology but they ask the right questions and encourage learning by the entire team. Can you be a good teacher without being a good learner?


  3. As director of the nation’s only center dedicated to the tech needs of school leaders, I was delighted to see leadership finally emphasized in the national ed tech plan. It only took them three iterations!

    Like others, I was less pleased when several months later the administration submitted a budget that zeroed out all federal ed tech monies (and did so the following year as well).

    Guess which message schools listened to? Rhetoric without action rings hollow.

  4. Scott;
    Yeah, I guess that like many folks in leadership positions what they say and what they do are two different things.

    That said, the leadership quote needs to be an integral part of every tech plan (even non-tech plans) going forward.


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